Boston Celtics

Davis makes Spurs pay for leaving him open


Davis makes Spurs pay for leaving him open

By Jessica Camerato

BOSTON - A note to teams around the NBA - Glen Davis wants you to defend him. In fact, hes a bit peeved when you dont.

Dont get this wrong - Davis wants to help the Boston Celtics win. Its just that hes worked hard to become a reliable shooter, and he doesnt like when it goes unnoticed. In return, he uses it as motivation to get the W for his team.

On Wednesday night the San Antonio Spurs left him open. So he decided to make them pay for it.

Im shocked. Im really shocked, he said following the Celtics 105-103 win. I work on my shot a lot and Ive won games with it. Thats what I do majority of the time. For a team not to play me, thats like an insult. But you know, youve just got to make them pay.

Davis came off a 17-point performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday to make his fourth consecutive start in place of Kevin Garnett (calf). He entered the game averaging 12.2 points, nearly double from last season, and shooting 46.7 percent from the field.

But when he missed his first free-throw and field-goal attempts, he realized the Spurs were not guarding him closely.

They were playing off me, he said. I kind of was shocked and I missed the next two shots. I was like, Oh my gosh, they dont want to check me. They just want to let me shoot. So I just kept shooting. I got kind of a rhythm and I started hitting some good shots.

Davis went 4-for-9 in the first half, including 1-for-4 in the second quarter. He stuck with it, though, and shot 6-for-9 in the second half. He finished the game with a season-high 23 points (10-18 FG, 3-5 FT), one shy of his career-high.

Coach Doc Rivers noticed Davis was able to find his rhythm have making minor adjustments.

What he does at times, number one, the shot gets flat we all know that, Rivers said. The other thing he does, he takes a step or two further than his range. And I thought today you actually saw him stepping into shots instead of fading back. Last couple games hes been a foot behind, in front of the three, or two feet, instead of getting to his little range. He did it with confidence, and that was good.

Finding yourself open on the Celtics isnt necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, it is simply because the player is following teams offensive schemes. Davis ability to cut through screens has left him unattended at times, and he has been taking advantage of that.

Its the motion offense, really, said Ray Allen. Rondo starts it and if everybody makes sharp cuts, then somebodys going to be open because you cant keep putting two guys on the ball and letting them get to the hole. Somebodys got to be open and we just try to stay in great position.

But I think what Glen has found out, even more so now, is that when he uses me more, when he comes off those balls, hes wide open every time because nobody can rotate because youre worried about Shaq underneath the basket or Kevin Garnett under the basket or Paul Pierce, so somebodys going to be open at all times.

In spite of finishing second on the Celtics in scoring against the Spurs, Davis said he could have shot the ball better and been more aggressive on the boards (2 rebounds). He believes that if he had made those extra shots or grabbed more rebounds, the Cs would not have found themselves fighting down to the wire.

Still, he was happy to do whatever the Celtics needed to notch their 27th win of the season over the top-ranked team in the league.

When you think about it, Im just a basketball player, he said. Im not tall, Im not short, Ive got short arms, kind of chubby a little bit. But I play the game. I just play basketball, so thats the plus thing about me. I could play whatever you want me to play.

And thats why he wants his opponents to play him more closely.

Follow Jessica Camerato on Twitter at http:www.twitter.comjcameratonba

Hayward opens up about disappointment of losing Isaiah Thomas


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.


"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."