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Your Morning Dump… Where starting messed with Baby’s head

RedsArmyAdmin January 21, 2011 Uncategorized 8 Comments

Baby diving
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

“It’s all mental,” he said. “I was kind too hard on myself when I was starting. I wanted to prove to Doc [Rivers] and prove to my teammates … The difference between that and the playoffs is I just went and played. That’s what I do when I come off the bench, I just go out and play. I put a lot of pressure on myself.  I got out of myself and tried to be something [else]. That’s now how it works. You have to be yourself. I had a couple of good games, but as far as all-around games, the way I know I can play, I didn’t bring it. Now being on the bench you get back to the same mentality.”

WEEI: Glen Davis acknowledges starting affected him mentally

Sometimes the best intentions lead to the worst results.  Glen Davis certainly wasn't trying to miss shots and play poorly… he was trying to help the team and show he's capable of doing so. But when you try to do too much, things start to fall apart.  Glen Davis has realized now that he's, well, Glen Davis.  And when he just does his job like he's supposed to do… then he'll do a hell of a job.

The human mind is an amazing thing.  It can take people to crazy heights (look at KG's intensity) and it can make people do things that, in retrospect, they acknowledge weren't the best idea.  Part of Baby maturing as an NBA player is keeping his mind in check.  Having the wherewithal to understand that even in the most extreme situations, just doing what he always does out there will produce the best results.

Because it's entirely possible Baby will have to start again somewhere down the road.  Going through this now might have been best… because should we need him to do it again, he'll understand the exact mindset he needs to get the job done.

Related links:  CSNNE: Davis steady during C's torrid stretch  |  ESPN Boston:  Davis starting to be himself again  |  

On Page 2: I talk myself into Paul Pierce for 1st half MVP

Last night Chuck ended The 2 Man Game with a little mid-season grading and team MVP debate.  In giving my grade for Paul Pierce, I waxed poetic about how he's done it all for the C's and done it about as well as ever.  Yet when we talked MVP, I picked Rondo and Chuck picked KG.  By the end, both of us were wondering why we didn't pick Pierce. 

So I've changed my mind. 

I threw the red challenge flag on myself, went to the review booth, and upon further review, Paul Pierce is actually the first half MVP.

Let's start with the basics:  He's leading the team in scoring (again), his rebounding, assists and blocks are up, his turnovers are down, and his shooting percentages are all at, or very near, career highs.  So the man is producing on the court.

Dipping into a liiiiiitle bit of the advanced metrics (only a little, because they scare me):  His true shooting percentage (a measure of 2's, 3's & ft's) is a career high 62.8% and among the best in the league (LeBron's is 58.2, Kobe's is 55.5… just for comparison).  Meanwhile his usage rate is at a career low, which means he's deferring to other guys more often than ever.  And his PER (John Hollinger's magical Player Efficiency Rating) is 20.63… the highest its been in the Big 3 era and good enough to be among the best in the league (and better than Carmelo Anthony, who the Nuggets apparently think warrants a Herschel Walker-type trade package…. but I digress). 

So you get the point… statistically, Paul Pierce is having a damn fine year.  But to me, the most important test is the eye test.  And that's where Paul cinches it.  Because when Rajon Rondo was out, Paul Pierce stepped up in that first game and dropped 10 dimes.  He followed that up with a triple double (18,10,10).  He averaged 6.7 assists (about twice his season average) when Rajon was out.  He's held the team together, doing what needs to be done while the team deals with a multitude of injuries.  Meanwhile, he's played in all 41 games so far, showing a durability that many didn't expect, especially after the problems he had last season. 

To me, that all adds up to a Team MVP.  Maybe it's a 3-way tie between him and Rondo.  You can certainly make the case for any of them.  But right now, the way he's played, and the fact that he's done it in every game this year… I think Pierce has the edge.

Related links:  CSNNE: The halfway MVP  |  WEEI:  Mid-season report card

The rest of the links:  

Herald: Ray's accuracy a real feet  |  Globe:  Rondo fits in with the best  |  ESPN Boston:  DVR Reminder: The Association, Part 2  

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  • Doop

    That’s funny, I actually went through something exactly like this. I was making MVP predictions, and I was like, “Okay, KG or Rondo?” And then I wondered why I didn’t pick Pierce. A three-way MVP would be awesome.

  • http://scal4three.blogspot.com/ SCAL-4-THREE

    This mental thing Glen Davis is talking about really showed during his 9 games as a starter this season, and Boston’s offense kept getting disrupted by his massive quantity of jump shot he was puting up. His jumper is much improved this season, but it should absolutely not ever be Boston’s primary source of offense, and he really goes out there and plays his own game as a backup by driving to the hoop and scoring inside the paint. He utilizes his jump shot when the opportunity opens up, the way KG does, instead of relying on it for 40 minutes per game. Davis is a much greater asset for the Celtics when he’s coming off the bench with Nate Robinson, bringing the energy.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/the_bantam the_bantam

    I see the natural connection of ‘well if HE were out, they wouldn’t win, that makes him MVP’, but I’ve never agreed with it. With that logic you could debate Shaq is the MVP? No Shaq and Semih is the starter, with JO and Perk gone? Yikes.
    On the flip side, who has done the most for the team this year? Rondo is in my eyes the most outstanding player, KG is probably the MVP of the Celtics from 2006 forward, he turned around the franchise, Ray is the best shooter of all time. There is a 3-way MVP, it’s actually a 12-way MVP and it’s called the NBA Title.
    However, PP has done more for this team, this season, than anyone else. You watch him on defense, passing, rebounding, clutch shots, and keeping everyone focused and it’s hard to give it to anyone else. KG is a damned tough person to NOT give it to, I hold him in separate esteem. The C’s became an expected champion caliber team by the arrival of KG, so he’s like Most Important/Impactful Player to the entire franchise, rather than an MVP of a season.
    PP for MVP

  • CFH

    I refuse to pick an MVP for this team. It’s too much of a team to have an MVP. It just is. Different kinds of leadership, good examples, production, tenacity and consistency are coming from half a dozen different places.

  • DRJ

    It’s good to see Davis growing up. And yes, this was probably a very good experience… If he’s ever called upon to start again, he won’t get lost so easily.
    Arguments can be made for MVP for any of the 3: KG, Rondo, Paul. A lot depends on the DEFINITION of MVP. I like to think of it as “the player the team can least do without.” While Paul has been really spectacularly good this season, I think the team could move forward without him. What he supplies can be replaced. But what KG supplies on D CANNOT be replaced. And what Rondo supplies on O also can’t be replaced, as we clearly discovered a little while ago.
    So it’s a tie between those two, in my book. Which is more important? Is it KG’s D or Rondo’s O? For THIS team, anyway… that’s a crazy question. Kinda like asking ‘which is more important, your right arm or your left?’

  • http://thecbbg.blogspot.com/ TY

    I agree with what you said on the Glen Davis front. If he’s ever in the position where he needs to start, he will have the confidence of having been in the role before, and the experience to draw on to know how to change his mindset from being sixth man to being in their with the starters, so that he can best succeed in the role. He’s growin’ up! But as we all know, it’s a process.

  • paul

    I think strong arguments can be made for each of the Big Four as MVP. The one we can least do without is probably Ray Allen. His activities tend to escape notice, but his running off screens for shots is the linchpin of the Celtics offense. Garnett is the qb of the defense. Rondo is the qb of the offense. Pierce is the x factor, Mr. Clutch, the guy who can make his own offense. All have elevated their games this season. Which is the mvp? The fact that this question is unanswerable says it all about the Celtics, about the way they blend as a TEAM, as Phil Jackson rightly said (though he wasn’t right in what he implied about the way the Celtics’ level of talent compares to other teams’ such as the Heat). Last night, Shaq was, without a doubt, the MVP. But I think the one sine qua non guy on the team at this point is Rondo. Even when he is having a quiet game, he seems to be somehow in on every play. The Celtics defense is the foundation of this team’s success, but what takes us over the top (when we aren’t having one of those lazy days) is the offense. We actually have not just a good offense, but a GREAT offense, which is, however, predicated heavily on our movement and on Rondo’s quarterbacking. If Allen is Jerry Rice and Garnett and Pierce are Ladainian Tomlinson, then maybe Rondo is Brady.
    Re. Davis: I think that being a quality starter is very achievable for him, but he’s a learner and he’s got some learning to do there. I hope that in the long term his latest stint as Garnett’s replacement will be a big step for him. Growth doesn’t happen without setbacks along the way.

  • Mileke

    Put it like this, on this team, there’s no true MVP, everybody play their role, and are playing it well at this point, which makes this team great!!!! They are all MVP’s in their own ways!