By A. Sherrod Blakely
LOS ANGELES Delonte West is not a great shooter, passer, ball-handler or defender.
But when you add up how he fares in all those categories, there's no question West can be a difference-maker.
He certainly was on Saturday in helping the Boston Celtics defeat the Los Angeles Clippers, 99-92.
West finished with nine points, five assists and two steals.
More than the numbers, West provided a steadying force at the point position while Rajon Rondo rested on the bench.
Coach Doc Rivers sensed Rondo was a bit tired on Saturday, which meant West's role off the bench would be even more vital to the Celtics' success.
And while West can play both guard positions, the C's need him more now as a backup point.
He did a solid job against Clippers, but there's still plenty of room for him to improve.
"Just picking up the sets," Rivers said. "We have so many guys that have such a small library of our offense. We have to enhance that."
That will come with time and experience, two things West is sure to get more of now that Nate Robinson has been traded to Oklahoma City along with Kendrick Perkins.
West, who has played in just eight games this season, has the element of surprise going for him to some extent.
"I know I've been missing in action so much, I think guys forget I can play a little bit," West said. "That's the way I like to keep it, though."
Indeed, West's strength as an NBA player lies in the fact that he has the talent to contribute in a variety of ways and positions on the floor.
"I'm a jack of all trades," West said. "I do a lot of things good. Not maybe one thing great, but I do a lot of things good. When I come off the bench, I can see what's going on out there, just come in and fill in; fill in wherever we're lacking."