Boston Celtics

Davis takes responsibility for second unit's play

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Davis takes responsibility for second unit's play

By JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - Glen Davis has been on the Boston Celtics long enough to understand what it takes to play championship-caliber basketball. On Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, he didnt see that.

I think we need a lot of things, he said following the Celtics' 90-87 loss. We need a lot of things in order to get to a championship level that we need to play. I dont think we played the way we should have played today.

Davis looked at the productivity of the second unit. Then he took a look at himself. The Celtics had lost just by three points and he believed the bench could have done more to contribute to a win. He wanted to see better execution. He wanted to see greater intensity. He just wanted to see more.

With the season winding down and the Celtics fighting for home court advantage (their loss put them one game behind the Chicago Bulls for first place in the Eastern Conference), Davis is putting the weight on his shoulders to lead the second unit.

I need to take a better initiative myself, he said. Me being one of the leaders on the second group, being the guy that plays the most on the second group, I need to be more of a leader to organize and to make sure that we know what were doing out there and just to make sure we have a collective effort on the defensive side.

Davis recognizes the obstacles the Celtics face, but at this point in the year, he isnt looking for excuses. The learning curve of the new players, the lack of depth because of injuries, the taxing effect of increased minutes -- they all add up to road blocks that must be overcome.

And Davis is determined to help the second unit get past them.

We have to make sure that we know what were running out there, he said. Sometimes I feel like we dont know what were running. We need to go our guys that we go to - like Delonte West, Jeff Green. I think with Von Wafer back, it gives us another scoring opportunity out there. I think we need to get more ball movement. I think we have options with Jeff Green in the post, but at the same time, I think we need more ball movement. And we need to find it somewhere.

While the Celtics bench added 29 points between Davis, Green, and West, Davis is looking for more than just offense. The reserves at several points this season have faltered on defense when their shots havent fallen, and the Celtics cant afford that lapse of focus. The Grizzlies bench scored 38 points.

If we dont do nothing else, we have to play defense. We have to play defense, Davis said of the second unit. I dont care if we dont make a shot in the second team. I dont care if we dont get a layup or anything. We need to play defense. The second team needs to play defense and its my fault. Im the most experienced guy on the second team, and I need to bring that intensity to those guys. Can't look backwards, got to look forward, and Im looking forward to practice tomorrow, making sure that we know what were supposed to do.

Davis plans to review game tape and talk to the second unit on Thursday. They will get help when Wafer, and Jermaine and Shaquille ONeal, return from injuries, but they cant wait around for that to happen. They have to find their rhythm with the players they have now.

Every game means a lot to us right now, Davis said. Were trying to get as many wins as possible to finish out the year strong. We want to achieve one of our goals and thats winning the Eastern Conference and having home-court advantage. Right now, were losing games and were losing time. So weve got to get it together as soon as possible.

While taking a leadership role on the Celtics may be new to Davis, the winning mentality isnt. He has been inspired by his veteran teammates and looks to motivate the second unit the same way the starters have motivated him.

Its new to me, but at the same time, if I want to go to the next level and have my own team one day, Im going to have to start somewhere, he said. Im going to take initiative now and take ownership.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

NBA's a global game, and the Celtics are all in

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NBA's a global game, and the Celtics are all in

BOSTON – The NBA has become more of an international game as teams scour the globe in search of the next big basketball talent.

While some franchises such as the San Antonio Spurs have been poaching talented international players for years, other franchises have been more locked into adding American-born ballers.

The Boston Celtics have paid close attention to the best international players for several years.

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But more often than not, additions to their roster through the draft have come from the college ranks with an occasional international player added via free agency.

This season's team will definitely have a certain international flavor to it with overseas additions coming by way of players they drafted and signed as free agents to bolster what should be one of the deeper teams in the East.

Boston has six rookies with guaranteed contracts for this upcoming season, four of which were born outside of the United States.

And of those four rookies, three of them – Guerschon Yabusele (16th overall pick); Ante Zizic (23rd overall pick) and Abdel Nader; 58th overall pick) – were selected in the 2016 draft but didn't join the team immediately. 

Yabusele who is originally from France, spent most of last season in China and came to the States and played briefly with the Celtic’s Gatorade League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. He will be among the bevy of young players competing for minutes off the Celtics bench. 

Zizic, born in Croatia, spent last season playing in his native country as well as in Turkey. The 7-foot center will come into training camp competing for playing time, possibly as Boston’s starting center.

And then there’s Nader, a G-League all-star as well as the G-League’s rookie of the year last season. The Egyptian-American wing player showed promise in each of the last two summer leagues which is in part why the Celtics signed him to a four-year, $6 million deal with only the first year fully guaranteed. 

They each have different strengths that only add value to a Boston squad that’s being built to play just about every style of play imaginable.

But the Celtics didn’t limit their pursuit of international talent to just the draft.

Boston has also signed German Forward Daniel Theis. 

Unlike the international players drafted by Boston, Theis is a bit of a mystery to most Celtics fans.

Last season he averaged 10.7 points and 4.6 rebounds for Brose Bamberg of Germany, while shooting 41.0 percent from 3-point range and 59.8 percent from the field.

And that season ended with a German championship, just like the previous two seasons for the 6-9, 243-pound forward who is expected to come in and compete for playing time off the bench for a Celtics team that’s looking for