Celtics up against familiar face in Erden

Celtics up against familiar face in Erden
February 29, 2012, 12:07 am
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CLEVELAND The last time the Boston Celtics played Cleveland, former Celtic Semih Erden didn't play (coaches decision).

Tonight, he's in the starting lineup.

It has been that kind of season for Erden, who is in the lineup due to a wrist injury to Anderson Varejao.

Erden says facing his former team is exciting, but a chance to play - period - is what he's really pumped up for.

For the season, Erden is averaging 3.3 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

But as a starter, he averages 5.5 points and four rebounds.

Just as important, the Cavs are 3-3 with Erden in the starting lineup compared to 10-15 when he's not with the first unit.

"It's good to play, because I need to play," Erden told CSNNE.com. "Right now, Andy's out so I have a chance to grow, to play better and help my teammates. So I'm happy."

Also keeping him happy, Erden says, is the knowledge right now that he will play decent minutes every night.

"For me, I like to know I will play," he said. "Mentally, it's different. Mentally, you can prepare yourself better, every time. This is good for me; I like it."