Big Baby struggles in Orlando

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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."

Crowder on Cousins' style: 'Step up to the test or you get run over'

Crowder on Cousins' style: 'Step up to the test or you get run over'

BOSTON – There was a point in the fourth quarter when Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins was fouled trying to score which brought about an automatic, intense and angry scowl from the all-star center. 

He raised his hand as he were going to strike back at the potential assailant. 

And then he saw the man was Jae Crowder. 

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Cousins, who had a game-high 28 points, then went to the free throw line, incident-free. 

“I’m not one those other cats he be punking,” said Crowder with a grin.

That moment was one of many throughout Friday night’s game when Crowder made his presence felt when the game mattered most, and wasn’t afraid to mix it up with whoever stood between him and helping the Celtics win – even Cousins. 

But as Crowder explained following Boston’s 97-92 win, that moment was about two physical players who have developed an on-the-floor rapport that speaks to their intensity and desire to win at all costs. 

“He’s going to bring the game to you; his physicality,” said Crowder who had 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting. “He’s a very physical type of guy. If he senses you’re not physical at all, he’ll let you know. He’s a dog down there; he’s a bull. I love to go against a player like that. He’s going to give you his best shot each and every night. You either step up to the test or you get run over.” 

As soon as the two made eye contact, Crowder knew it was one of the many intimidation methods used by Cousins against opposing players. 

Crowder wasn’t having it. 

“That’s my guy; he’s my guy,” Crowder said of Cousins. “He plays a lot of tactics against a lot of other players. I’ve earned that respect with him. He knows I’m going to fight him just as hard as anybody else. We leave it on the court. He’s a good friend of mine. We’ve become friends, just playing ball, playing basketball the right way.”