Big Baby struggles in Orlando

618912.jpg

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."

Report: Ainge in Israel this weekend scouting Dragan Bender

bender_1280x720_689254467758.jpg

Report: Ainge in Israel this weekend scouting Dragan Bender

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and his son, Austin Ainge, the team’s director of player personnel, will be in Israel this weekend scouting Dragan Bender, the potential No. 3 pick in the draft, the Boston Herald reported. 

Bender, a 7-foot-1, 18-year-old from Croatia, won’t be playing in games this weekend but will be practicing for Maccabi Tel Aviv.  Bender is a bench player for Maccabi, averaging 4.3 points and 2.6 rebounds. Still, his size and potential to develop  have him projected to go as high as No. 3.

Here’s CSN’s scouting report of Bender.

Danny Ainge was in Croatia earlier this week scouting 6-11 Ante Zizic. 

 

Report: 76ers look to deal Okafor or Noel in draft trade

2016-05-19t11-26-22.066z-1280x720.jpg

Report: 76ers look to deal Okafor or Noel in draft trade

There’s a high likelihood the Philadelphia 76ers will trade Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel in connection with the June 23 draft, in which the Sixers hold the No. 1 pick, ESPN’s Chad Ford reported.

The Celtics, who have the No. 3 pick, have been rumored to be willing to part with it in a deal that includes Okafor.

Ford said in an interview with Philadelphia-area radio station ESPN 97.3:

You will not see the Nerlens Noel-Jahlil Okafor pairing at the start of next season. I think that they'll gauge the interest of both players. I think that there might be a slight preference for Noel, to keep him around with the Sixers, and I think you might be right, there might be a slight, better value for Okafor out on the market, but I think everyone agrees that that combination of those two players doesn't necessarily work.

The Sixers are expected to choose LSU’s Ben Simmons or Duke’s Brandon Ingram with the top pick.  Ford and Marc Stein also reported Philly’s willingness to deal Okafor or Noel in this ESPN article. 

As a deal with the Celtics for the No. 3 pick, Ford told 97.3:

Absolutely…If I was Philadelphia, it would be done tomorrow. I don't know if Boston would do it, but for Philadelphia, 100 percent. That would allow them to actually I think bring in another guard, an elite guard, whether that's Kris Dunn or Jamal Murray, and suddenly now you've got a very, very bright future. I think that's an easy call for the Sixers if Boston would do it.