Davis makes Spurs pay for leaving him open

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Davis makes Spurs pay for leaving him open

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

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

Blakely: Celtics made the right choice in not pursuing Cousins

Blakely: Celtics made the right choice in not pursuing Cousins

NEW ORLEANS -- There will be a significant faction of Celtics Nation who will see DeMarcus Cousins’ trade to New Orleans as a lost opportunity for the C's, who could have offered a much more enticing trade package than the one the Sacramento Kings accepted.
 
The Kings received nothing even remotely close to a king’s ransom for Cousins, acquiring him in exchange for rookie Buddy Hield, journeyman Langston Galloway and ex-Pelican Tyreke Evans (who has never been the same since his Rookie of the Year season in 2010), along with a protected first-round pick and a future second-round selection.

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While the knee-jerk reaction is to focus on why Boston decided to not pursue a trade for Cousins, more important is what the non-decision means for the moment and going forward.
 
Think about what the Celtics have done in the last three-plus seasons.
 
They went from being a lottery team to one that has the second-best record in the East. They're holding the potential No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft; at worst, the pick will be in the top four or five. They have three of the most team-friendly contracts (Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder) in the NBA. They have promising prospects overseas as well as in the D-League. And they're led by a coach who has improved his coaching acumen -- and the team’s win total -- every year he's been on the job.
 
And it's all enveloped by a culture with a high level of selflessness, which has created a locker-room environment that has been more about fighting for each other than fighting one another or others off the court.
 
Do you really think Cousins’ talent would have trumped the baggage he'd be bringing to the Celtics if they'd acquired him?
 
For him to have fit in with this team would have required him to make the kind of changes that, frankly, I just don’t see him being capable of making at this point.
 
On more than one occasion, “not fitting in” with the Celtics culture was given to me as the reason why a Cousins-to-Boston trade never gained any traction with the team’s brass. Or coaching staff, for that matter.
 
While there's no denying that he's arguably the best center in the NBA, Cousins is a high-risk, high-reward talent that makes sense to pursue if you're a franchise which has nothing to lose by adding him to the mix. Like, say, New Orleans.
 
The Pelicans are 11th in the Western Conference despite having Anthony Davis, who has been asked to carry the weight of a franchise that has yet to figure out the best combination of talent to surround him with and find success.
 
The addition of Cousins not only provides Davis some major help, but serves as a reminder of just how desperate the Pelicans are.
 
While there are mixed reports on whether the package of assets the Kings agreed to was the best they could have received for Cousins, there was no way they were going to get anything close to comparable talent in exchange for him.
 
And that was solely due to the risk that any team was willing to take on in order to acquire him.
 
At some point, the Celtics need to take advantage of an opportunity to go all-in for a superstar player. But this was not that time, or that player.

Blakely: Pelicans form arguably the best frontcourt with Cousins-Davis

Blakely: Pelicans form arguably the best frontcourt with Cousins-Davis

A. Sherrod Blakely breaks down the DeMarcus Cousins trade to the New Orleans Pelicans