Davis learning to be a leader for Magic

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Davis learning to be a leader for Magic

ORLANDO No one has ever questioned Glen Davis' desire to be one of the NBA's better players, even when he was a super-sub for the Boston Celtics.

The exodus of Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers left a huge vacuum in the Orlando Magic lineup, a void Davis now has every intention of filling.

It will require him to do something that the 6-foot-8 forward has never been asked or expected to do since coming to the NBA: Be a leader.

So far, so good for Davis who has been named a co-captain of the Magic this season.

"It's a different experience," Davis said. "It's something I'm not used to. It's something I've never encountered, but I love it. It's something I've always wanted. It forces you to see if you can go to the next level, or why players stay the way they are and don't get better. Do you really want to go to the next level?"

The answer to this has always been "yes" for Davis. However, now it appears that his actions are in line with his words.

Both teammates and head coach Jacque Vaughn speak of how Davis has embraced his role as a leader, a role that's strikingly different than the one he had during his four years in Boston.

"He's accepted the role rather nicely," said Vaughn, in his first season as the Magic's head coach. "He's done a good job of being a leader in practice, being a leader on the floor, being held accountable. Those are all the things that go into accepting more responsibility. He's done a good job with it."

Davis' fellow captain Jameer Nelson said the addition of Davis to a leadership position should help him better direct his emotions, which Celtics fans remember can get the better of him.

"Making him a captain helps him channel those emotions in the right direction," Nelson said. "He's very passionate about the game and wants to win. You want somebody fighting with you, that has the characteristics he has."

With the Celtics, Davis was an impact big man off the bench who could score and defend. And when called upon, had the ability to rise to the occasion in big games.

But having all-stars on the roster such as Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo made it difficult for Davis to become the consistent, high-impact talent he believed himself to be.

But as you listen to Davis talk about needing to play with more consistency, finding that happy medium between being true to himself but keeping the team's goals first and foremost, it's clear how playing with the C's has rubbed off on him even in his new role with his new team.

"I welcome the challenge," Davis said. "This is an opportunity to start something fresh and new, something I always wanted to do. I've been part of Celtics where guys like KG were already there . . . this is an opportunity for me to be, 'the guy.' "

And with that comes the responsibility to pass along some of the lessons he learned during his time with the Celtics.

"I'm pretty lucky, getting drafted and going straight to Boston and seeing the way high-level players perform and the way they approach everyday," Davis said. "You kind of put yourself in their shoes, how do they play . . . They went to the next level and became superstars. Hopefully I can use this as a platform to push me to a different level."

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.