Celtics

Big Baby struggles in Orlando

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Big Baby struggles in Orlando

WALTHAM Stan Van Gundy, you have a kindred spirit in Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers.

When told that that Van Gundy was having trouble connecting with Glen Davis, Rivers wasn't the least bit surprised.

"You just have to keep pushing, and finding Baby's buttons," Rivers said. "And Stan will."

Following a blowout win over Washington, Van Gundy was asked about Davis who was 2-for-10 from the field.

This season, Davis is averaging 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds -- both below his numbers last season as well as his career-numbers.

"He's not playing well, and I'm not sure his mind's on the right things right now," Van Gundy told reporters.

Van Gundy added that he likes what Davis has done defensively, but needs him to do a better job of moving the ball and setting screens.

"We'll keep working at it," Van Gundy said. "I've seen the guy play very well. He's a good player. He should be able to figure it out. Sometimes it takes time."

The player Davis was traded for, Brandon Bass, has been exceptional basketball for the C's this season after spending the previous two under Van Gundy in Orlando.

Bass is making an early charge at the league's Sixth Man of the Year award, averaging 14 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

Although Bass and Davis have been friends dating back to their youth, Bass said the two haven't talked recently about Davis' struggles

"I haven't talked to him of late, but Glen knows his situation," Bass said. "He's been in worst situations than that. He'll be able to overcome it, sooner than later."

Patience and persistence, Rivers believes, are the best approaches to handling Davis.

"Stan's a great coach," Rivers said. "It gets frustrating at times, but the one thing Stan knows and I know is that Baby is not a bad kid. So he'll find it. You have to find it again, and again. That's just who Baby is. At the end of the day, he'll find it."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 

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Larkin rises to occasion, says he's ready when Celtics call his number

Larkin rises to occasion, says he's ready when Celtics call his number

PHILADELPHIA – Near the end of a preseason game against Charlotte, Boston Celtics guard Shane Larkin was killin’ the Hornets with pick-and-roll action.

It was a preseason game that at the time, didn’t seem to have much value other than to get some of the end-of-the-bench guys a little run up and down the court.

But as it turned out, Larkin's play in that game was one of those things head coach Brad Stevens tucked away, knowing at some point he would count on Larkin to provide similar play in a regular season game.

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Well, that game was Friday night at Philadelphia, a game in which several players for Boston stepped their games up in helping the Celtics get their first win of the season, 102-92.

But you would be hard-pressed to find a bigger game-changer for the Celtics in this game, than Larkin.

He finished with 10 points off the bench, eight of which came in the decisive fourth quarter when the Celtics rallied from five-down to get a hard-fought, much-needed victory.

“You have to always be ready for your name to be called, especially when you have injuries,” Larkin said. “You never know whose night it’s gonna be.”

Boston was playing without Marcus Smart who suffered a left ankle sprain in their 108-100 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday. Smart was in the starting lineup having replaced Gordon Hayward who underwent left ankle surgery and is expected to be out for the remainder of this season.

“When coach (Stevens) called my name, I had to go out there and be aggressive, play my game,” Larkin said. “And it worked in our favor.”

And while Stevens had watched Larkin play prior to the Celtics signing him this summer, it was a preseason game against Charlotte that really convinced him that the 5-foot-11 guard could help when called upon.

“You’re always watching,” Stevens said. “And if you remember that exhibition game, he finished out that Charlotte game, just running simple spread pick-and-rolls. He’s such a handful with his speed and quickness, and he allows other guys to play off of him. He’s a small guy, but he makes up for it with his speed and skill.”

Al Horford benefited more than any other Celtic with Larkin’s pick-and-roll play which factored into Horford scoring nine of his 17 points in the fourth.

“Shane is a player who understands the game and for us, it was me trying to set a good screen for him and having him make a play,” Horford said. “He just made the right reads, when to shoot it, when to pass it. He just looked very comfortable in that position.”

And to think that Larkin’s big game came about in part because of how well he performed in a preseason matchup against the Hornets.

“I did not know it was that specific game,” Larkin said. “But whenever I step on the court I try to do my best. That’s offensively, defensively, and do what the team needs me to do.

Larkin added, “Whenever my number is called, if he (Stevens) calls it again, I hope he does. I’ll be ready to go out there and do it again.”

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