Boston Celtics

Davis happy to start 'Campaign for Champange'

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Davis happy to start 'Campaign for Champange'

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Glen Davis has an extra bounce to his step these days, and the reason is obvious -- it's playoff time!

Whether he's the Big Ticket Stub or some other fictitious nickname he conjures up for himself, there's no mistaking how amped up he gets for games this time of year.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said this new and improved Davis first surfaced in the second half of Boston's loss at Washington on Monday.

"He's had that sad look on his face for about two weeks," Rivers said. "Then he changed. Now he's playing the game . . . there's sunshine when you look at Baby instead of a dark cloud. That's nice."

Although Davis has shown the ability to put up big scoring numbers, he's at his best for the Celtics when he's doing the little things such as taking charges, getting deflections and forcing taller players to shoot further away from the basket than they want.

"He is a big intangibles guy. That's just who he is," Rivers said. "It's tough for an intangibles guy who is really good, to stay into that instead of thinking, 'Tonight I'm going to do this' . . . when he just comes out and throws his body around and plays hard, he's terrific for our basketball team."

And it's not a coincidence that Davis' improved focus comes with the playoffs right around the corner.

When asked to explain why he seems to love the playoffs so much, Davis said, "I would think just the fact that making your own footprint in history. People don't see that, but I see that a lot."

The Celtics tradition of winning championships -- 17 and counting -- is something not lost on Davis, one of five remaining players from the 2008 championship team.

"Playing for a team like the Celtics, going out there doing something great . . . I'll be sitting back, fat on a farm, turn on NBA TV and look at myself 30 years ago," Davis said. "I think that's what it's about."

Davis' thinking along historical lines goes much deeper.

Shortly after Wednesday's 112-102 win over New York, Davis returned to the locker room and one of his first thoughts was on Game Seven of the NBA Finals last season in which the Celtics came up short against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"It felt like it was yesterday," Davis said. "And now it's like, we're back again."

Davis added, "I'm starting my Campaign for Champagne; trying to get (Banner) 18."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Gordon Hayward opens up about disappointment of losing Isaiah Thomas

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Gordon Hayward opens up about disappointment of losing Isaiah Thomas

Gordon Hayward wanted to go to Boston to play with Isaiah Thomas.

Of course, that's not going to happen. The Celtics traded Thomas to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a package for Kyrie Irving. Hayward explained what it was like for him to learn he and Thomas would not get the chance to hit the court together in Celtics' green.

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"My first reaction was to text I.T., and wish him the best," Hayward wrote in a blog post which he published Thursday. "That was a really strange moment because I’d really been looking forward to playing with him. He didn’t just help recruit me to Boston—he was a big piece of that recruitment. He had talked a lot about city and how it was different to be a Celtic. He talked about the intensity of playing in the Eastern Conference Finals, playing at the Garden in the playoffs, and how much fun it was, and how much fun he had playing in Boston.

"All of that ultimately helped win me over. And by the time of the trade, I had already started to build a little bit of a relationship with him.

"But that is just how the business works. I have spent enough years in the NBA to realize that things can change like that, in an instant. Still, even though we didn’t necessarily get to be teammates, I’m definitely going to be watching him as a fan. In this league, I think we are all rooting for each other in some way or another—just to try to stay healthy, to try to be the best we can be."

Hayward may be genuine about rooting for Thomas -- except perhaps when he faces off against the Cavaliers in the season-opener on Oct. 17 at Quicken Loans Arena. Thomas is uncertain to play due to a hip injury. But the two teams are expected to see each other in the Eastern Conference Finals again after the 2017-18 season. This preview will be an opportunity for Thomas and Irving to get their first shot at revenge against their previous team.

The trade wasn't all bad for Hayward, he explained. He was pleased at the prospect of playing with Irving. Hayward cited Irving's abilities in 1-on-1 situations and clutch moments. He appreciated Irving's scoring ability, because Hayward knows the point guard will open up space for Hayward to knock down open shots. Above all, Hayward seemed to value Irving's unique experience.

"And then getting a chance to play with LeBron James, and going to the Finals three straight years—those are experiences that are invaluable and that you really can’t teach," Hayward wrote. "Having that experience of playing in those big moments, dealing with the circus of the media, dealing with expectations, those are all things that I think he can help us with. Because most of us, myself especially, have never been through that."

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