Celtics

Davis searches to find his role on Celtics

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Davis searches to find his role on Celtics

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

For the first time in years, Big Baby doesn't feel that big anymore.

That's because he isn't, at least not in the Celtics locker room.

After playing undersized down low, Glen Davis will have to find a new role with the additions of Jermaine and Shaquille O'Neal.

"I'm one of the shortest players on the team. Its weird," the 6-foot-9 Davis said. "I've got to find my role and find out what I have to do."

And so begins his journey of determining where he fits in on the Celtics.

This situation is familiar to Davis. During the 2008-09 season, he stepped in at the power-forward position after Kevin Garnett was sidelined. He started every playoff game and made his mark during the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Orlando Magic.

Last season had to readjust his game when Garnett returned from injury. He moved back to the bench, where he was one of the biggest players on a second unit that lacked size. Davis shifted to the low block while Rasheed Wallace played more on the perimeter. He averaged 5.6 rebounds per game during the NBA Finals.

This time around, the Celtics have true centers in the O'Neals, once again changing Davis' role.

"I go from popping, hitting big shots, to rolling to the basket a lot last season," he said. "That's what I needed to do for the team and that's what I did. Now this year, we got fives. So I've just got to know what my role is again this year."

Davis says he will go through some "ups and downs" with Doc Rivers during the process. Rivers says there should be little question of Davis' role.

"Let me put it like this, if Baby doesn't know his role by now, he's going to be sitting down a lot," Rivers said. "I'll just leave it that simple."

But it's not that simple for Davis, especially in a contract year. He tries to focus on basketball, not his personal circumstances, and emphasizes the importance of putting the Celtics first.

"The role I would prefer to play is the role that they want me to play," he said. "If I've got to pop, I'll pop. If I've got to roll, I'll roll. Whatever I've got to do, I'm going to do it. That's what it's all about - sacrificing yourself, sacrificing who you are for the greater good of the team."

His role may change this season, but his outlook has stayed the same.

"I'm just here to help the team whatever possible way I can," he said. "Then when I find my role, I'm just going to do it to the max ability that I can."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcamerato

Celtics continue comeback narrative with win vs. Hawks

Celtics continue comeback narrative with win vs. Hawks

The Boston Celtics trail by double digits. The Celtics rally to make it relatively close by halftime. Boston continues to gain ground in the third, pull it out in the fourth.

Rinse. Recycle. Repeat.

That has been the Celtics’ mantra this season, with the latest chapter in their comeback narrative being a 110-99 win at Atlanta.

“We need to put an emphasis on playing with space and getting the ball to the other side of the floor,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “It just stuck too much early on. We were staring at some post-ups that if we got it to the other side, maybe you could take advantage of.”

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Boston (15-2) fell behind by as many as 16 points against the Hawks (3-13), the second straight game the Celtics have rallied from a double-digit deficit.

In Boston’s 92-88 win over Golden State on Thursday, the Celtics fell behind by as many as 17 before rallying for their most impressive win of the season.

That said, it still shouldn’t take away from what happened on Saturday against an Atlanta team that despite their record, has shown signs of playing better in their recent games.

Players are aware of the penchant they’ve shown thus far for falling behind only to mount a furious comeback for the win.

“We don’t try to (go down early),” said Kyrie Irving following Saturday’s win which extended their winning streak to 15 straight which is the fifth-longest streak in franchise history. “Some teams, they go on runs and whether that be us giving up some easy ones or giving up some turnovers or doing things we can correct. When we do correct them, it turns into a different game.”

And that is what makes this stretch of play so impressive.

The Celtics have not played a full game; instead they have had stretches of good play that have often masked their mistakes early in the game.

That’s why head coach Brad Stevens, obviously pleased with the team’s success, knows as well as anyone that his team has to become more consistent in their play if they are to get the most out of these wins and continue to build off of them and achieve their ultimate goal – getting back to the NBA Finals.

“We’re going to keep playing,” Stevens said. “But the biggest thing is, we can’t keep digging these holes.”

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Stars, studs and duds: No lack of confidence for Brown

Stars, studs and duds: No lack of confidence for Brown

When it comes to the top backcourts in the NBA, you seldom hear about Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown.

That may soon be changing if they have more games like the one they delivered on Saturday as Boston put together a solid second half to pull away from the Atlanta Hawks, 110-99.

Irving had a game-high 30 points which was his second game with at least 30 points scored – both against Atlanta.

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And Brown, who had a strong 22-point performance in Boston’s win over Golden State on Thursday, was even better against the Hawks in tallying a career-high 27 points.

We all know about Irving who has established himself as one of the NBA’s top guards.

But is Brown on the way?

One thing Brown won’t have to develop going forward is, confidence.

He has long maintained that he believes he’ll be among the best in the league. It’s just a matter of him performing at a high level at both ends of the floor, consistently.

“I’ve always had that confidence, I can play with the best in the world,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin following the win over Atlanta which extended Boston’s winning streak to 15 in a row. “It’s just a matter of coming out, doing it. My teammates found me tonight. We had a good team win tonight.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 110-99 win at Atlanta which extended the Celtics’ winning streak to 15 in a row which is the fifth-longest winning streak in franchise history.

 

STARS

Jaylen Brown

Back in his home state of Georgia, Jaylen Brown delivered another monster game for the Celtics by scoring a career-high 27 points on 10-for-13 shooting with four 3-pointers.

Kyrie Irving

Irving had his most efficient game this season for the Celtics, tallying 30 points on 10-for-12 shooting to go with four rebounds and five assists.

Dennis Schroder

Atlanta’s best scorer delivering a strong 23-point, 9-assist performance for the Hawks.

 

STUDS

Jayson Tatum

He only had 14 points, but they all came in the third quarter and they included a few crowd-quieting dunks.

John Collins

He came into the league with the reputation of being a high motor player, and he has not disappointed. His hustle and energy led to him tallying 18 points and seven rebounds.

Marcus Morris

When the offense struggled mightily in the first half, it was Morris’ scoring that kept them within striking distance. He finished with 14 points, 10 of which came in the second quarter.

Kent Bazemore

He was Atlanta’s number two scoring option most of the night, and finished with 19 points.

 

DUDS

Boston’s first quarter defense

The Celtics can’t keep digging themselves these early holes, expecting they will turn it on and find a way to climb out of them. The Hawks led 35-20, fueled in large part by shooting 64.7 percent (11-for-17) in addition to out-rebounding Boston 8-6.

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