By Graham Brunell
2009-10 season has held many changes for Glen Davis. And so far, most
of the ones that have played out haven't gone Glen's way. Suffering an
off-court hand injury in preseason camp, then giving fans a scare by
leaving the court during a game against Golden State supported by
crutches after playing a mere 10 minutes, Davis' season has experienced
a dangerous level of turbulence. BBD has come back since then, although it was supposedly a significant injury.
aside from the off-court circus revolving around Davis, I'm quite
impressed with his overall performance on the floor this year
regardless of his limited minutes. Davis' only poor showing when he got
decent minutes was the Warriors game, when he played 10 minutes and had
four turnovers. With exception to that, his stats have been very
intriguing. According to Basketball-Reference's per 36 minutes stats,
Davis would be averaging 19.1 points if he was given that type of game
time. His efficiency is off the charts this year. In 12.3 minutes per
game in '09-10, Davis has averaged 6.5 points, 4.8 boards per game, and
a .474FG percentage. He's also been getting to the line 2.5 times a
game this year, and to be more specific about his work under the glass:
Davis has averaged 2.8 offensive rebounds per game this year, and whaddya
know, the Celts have won the last four out of five rebounding battles,
which included games against Orlando and Toronto. The game the Beantown garbage boys didn't come out with in the paint (by four rebounds) was the Golden State battle.
I predicted earlier when it was nearing Davis' return, not only has his
visible body work done loads for us down low, but just his presence has
given our team a huge advantage heading into games even against the
toughest rebounding teams. Sure, it's absolutely fantastic to have Baby
averaging 4.8 in just 12.3 mpg, but his ability to box out guys four to
five inches taller than him presents a colossal mountain to overcome
for the opposing team; more so when he comes off the bench behind guys
like KG and Kendrick Perkins.
Also worthy of mention: In our most recent defeat of Toronto, Davis played 19 minutes and racked up 15
points. That's a silly-good number. It's a flat-out ludicrous example
of how this kid can just wipe the floor with the opposing team. It's
just plain intimidating to see such a skillful guy like that on the
other bench when you're coming out of the tunnel.
although I believe Davis is playing fantastic so far this year, there's
no denying that because he's come in so late, it will be difficult to
work him into the rotation quick. Right now, we have a number of
injuries so it's a perfect time for Davis to slip right behind Rasheed
and take over the bench burden, show that he's improved, and once again
prove his value to Doc. But, there's also a number of players
performing well. Tony Allen has shocked us all; aside from the Clips
game and a few other non-notable displays, Rasheed has just been playing
out of his mind down low; and while Shelden Williams doesn't pose a
huge threat, he'll definitely chew away at some of Davis' minutes if
Glen doesn't continue this high level of exhibition before Garnett and
others return. It can go on and on.
where does he fit in this year? With the calling up of Bill Walker and
the re-emergence of Tony Allen, there's no chance of Boston going big
and putting Davis at the three. Once Pierce returns, there's too much
depth to put him in that position. But, with Davis' improved rebounding
numbers and efforts to stay in shape, I don't have any doubt that Doc
will experiment going big. Davis has proved he can be extremely
effective in this Boston rotation as a big man, as they are set on a
track where they are allowed to drift out and hit the jumpshot (designed and put in place for the most part when Garnett arrived).
I also think that the Sheed
acquisition won't hurt Big Baby. Davis' sort of "internal-clubhouse
eminence" obviously immediately stands out to guys like Wallace, and I
think that, under Wallace's wing, Davis will really blossom as a great
shooter with a solid post game. Surrounded by Perk and Garnett since he
was drafted, Davis has adapted to criticism, even if he doesn't think
it is constructive at that exact time, and could really use the unique
intelligence Wallace brings to the game. He can certainly help Davis
off the bench, as he'll have time to point things out and show Davis a
few tricks before heading into the game.
addition, I have convinced myself that the Marquis Daniels addition and
Tony Allen's mental and physical evolution at 27 that I discussed above
will give Davis more of a chance to develop his passing talent. Not as
a small forward as I mentioned above, but as a mobile forward/center.
Davis never really got much of a chance to play before, at least for
the bulk of his minutes, with a quick and strong forward. He didn't
play the minutes he did last year in '07-08, eliminating a substantial
amount of play alongside James Posey, and wasn't able to play with a good perimeter player in '08-09 because the Celts didn't buy Pierce a strong backup.
This year, however, he has Tony Allen to rifle it up to on the break, as well as Marquis Daniels to seek out when 'Quis
is slashing toward the basket. Davis has particularly good hands
himself, and has an exceptional eye on the court, as he's shown before.
Hopefully the three will have meshed well come March and April.
review, Davis has already shown the ability to play big minutes and
produce dexterously and tidily. It whether or not Doc has the trust in
him to come in and take over a still rather "in limbo" position
alongside Sheed on the bench. There's undoubted potential in the spot for Davis.
The remaining question is, will Glen Davis get it done?