Big Baby struggles in Orlando


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."

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Following Thursday’s 105-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics will be on the prowl to rebound – literally – from its first defeat of the season.

Because for all that did not go right in Thursday night’s loss, the way Boston was beaten on the boards stands out emphatically.

“They got 24 more shots than us. We only turned it over (12) times,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the loss. “So that’s the obvious place they’re getting their possessions, on the glass. That’s going to be the number one thing, that has been the number one thing. It’s something we’ve talked about. We have to get better at it.”


Boston was out-rebounded 55-36 on the boards which heavily factored into Chicago’s 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.

In the Celtics' 122-117 win over Brooklyn on Wednesday, Boston won the overall rebounding battle 47-44, but had just 12 offensive rebounds compared to Brooklyn's 15 offensive boards. Despite the close margin, the Nets won the battle on the offensive glass running away, outscoring the Celtics 23-13 in second-chance points.

Stevens decided to start Tyler Zeller ahead of Amir Johnson to begin the third quarter, hoping Zeller would be a better matchup on the glass than Johnson who did not grab a single rebound in the 11 minutes of court time he got in the first half.

While Zeller did do a few good things on the glass and scoring in half-court sets, it wasn’t enough to swing the momentum Chicago was steadily gaining due to its ability to control the boards.

“I wasn’t real surprised but at the same time I knew it could happen,” Zeller told reporters, referring to Stevens’ decision to have him start the second half. “They did a good job of coming out and setting the tone. They beat us up on the boards, especially the first half. It’s something we have to get better at and continue to grow at.”

And it’s not a one-player or one-position issue, either.

Usually we think of bigs when it comes to rebounding. But Boston’s guards need to step up their rebounding game as well.

The struggles thus far have to be put in the context of this being just two games, the latter being the season opener for the Bulls who were jacked up more than usual due to it being the first game for Chicago native Dwyane Wade and ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo.

“We have to focus on boxing out,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “Guards have to do a better job. Guys like me, Al (Horford), Amir (Johnson), Tyler (Zeller) ... We have to do a good job of coming in the weak side and grabbing those; just focus on it, pay more attention to detail.”