Ailing Davis holds himself accountable


Ailing Davis holds himself accountable

By Jessica Camerato

BOSTON - Glen Davis estimates he drank four gallons of Pedialyte. His fever was running between 102 and 103 degrees (among other undesirable ailments), and he contemplated whether or not he would even play.

But he made the decision to take the court on Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets, and by the end of the game he wasnt giving himself any leeway for being under-the-weather.

Davis (16 points) held himself accountable for the performance of the second unit, which allowed the Nuggets to chip away at a nearly 20-point lead during the Cs 105-89 victory.

It wasnt too good to be true, he said of the Celtics 19-point edge in the first quarter. Were capable of doing that. But I didnt lead the second team good enough for us to keep that lead.

Doc Rivers praised his team for being an unselfish club and was happy with the way the starters shared the ball early on. But that changed when he turned to the bench.

To me, the second unit came in and they did the exact opposite, Rivers said. They miss a couple shots, the ball starts sticking, and then they start getting back at each other by not passing, and they forgot what we do. They stopped playing defense.

That doesnt sit well with Davis.

He views himself as the connection between the first unit and the second unit given the amount of minutes he plays with the starting five. Davis believes that he, Nate Robinson, and Marquis Daniels, are the biggest factors off the bench when the Celtics starters are out of the game.

And he takes his leadership role very seriously.

When I notice things like that, I need to adjust, I need to motivate, I need to do something out there because Im the guy that makes the second team go, he said. Im a mirror of the first team because I play a lot with the first team. So Ive got to somehow, some way, get the same momentum from the first team and use it to transfer to the second team.

Davis found himself playing with a little bit too much momentum on Wednesday when he got whistled for a double technical foul against Nene. The two got tangled up late in the fourth quarter and Davis was led away from the incident by Kevin Garnett.

Just two guys physically playing hard, explained Davis. He was playing a little out of control, hit me with an elbow, didnt like it, kind of got him off me, told me dont hit me with an elbow. No more. But thats it. Thats the nature of the game. Thats the way it is. Emotions, people play.

Davis understands what he has to do to play within the system and fuel the Celtics second unit. Now it is a matter of demonstrating it on the court.

Practice, good habits, paying attention to what the coaches want us to do, being a leader, he said of his methods. Making sure that I lead the second team, things like that. When things are going wrong, make sure that Im there to say, Hey guys, we need to play harder defense or Hey guys, we need to run this play.

With a bottle of orange Pedialyte in hand, Davis showed the maturity and accountability of someone eager to be a leader.

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

Beyond the numbers: The dual threat of Avery Bradley


Beyond the numbers: The dual threat of Avery Bradley

BOSTON – Another year, another season in which Avery Bradley plans to showcase a new and improved skill that will benefit the Boston Celtics.
But with each improved skill, Bradley moves just that much closer to being an all-around, two-way talent that creates problems for teams at both ends of the floor.
We all know about Bradley’s defense, which was good enough to land him a spot on the NBA’s All-Defensive first team last season. He also gets props for steadily improving his game offensively in some area every summer, but defenses might have their hands full more than ever with Bradley.
According to NBA stats guru Dick Lipe, the 6-foot-2 Bradley was the only guard in the NBA last season to shoot better than 70 percent in the restricted area among players who took a minimum of 200 field goal attempts.
He is among a list that includes Los Angeles Clippers big men DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin; Miami’s Hassan Whiteside; current teammate and former Atlanta Hawk Al Horford; San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge; Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Atlanta big man Dwight Howard.
But if you’re thinking about keeping him away from that part of the floor, Bradley also made the 3-point shot a bigger part of his offensive game last season; as in, 40 percent of his shots came from beyond the 3-point line.

Having that kind of diversity makes him a difficult player to get a clear read on how to defend. And because of that, it may open things up even more so for his teammates.
Bradley can shoot from the perimeter; he can score close to the rim. His ball-handling skills have improved in the offseason to where it no longer looks as though it’s a major weakness.
And he defends at a level few players in the league can match.
Collectively it makes Bradley one of the many challenges awaiting teams whenever they face the Celtics, a player who is poised to showcase his diverse set of skills beginning tonight against the Brooklyn Nets. 

Pregame number: Al Horford to the rescue


Pregame number: Al Horford to the rescue

Tonight’s pregame number to watch is 45.4%. That was the Celtics' score frequency on pick and rolls finished by the screener last season, which was the worst rate in the NBA.

Score Frequency: The percentage of possession in which the team or player scores at least 1 point.

The major problem for the Celtics last season was personnel, as Jared Sullinger finished the most pick and roll plays for the C’s after setting a screen, and he was -- to put it nicely -- freaking terrible. Sullinger was the second-worst roll/pop man in the league, averaging a paltry 0.87 points per possession.

Fortunately, the Celtics replaced Jared Sullinger with four-time All-Star Al Horford, who is one of the elite roll/pop men in the NBA. Last season, Horford finished fifth in the NBA averaging 1.13 points per possession as a roll/pop man and boasted a more than solid 57.1 eFG% on those plays. 

eFG% (Effective Field Goal Percentage): Measures field goal percentage adjusting for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal. The equation is ((FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA

If you watched the preseason, then you already know the kind of impact Horford can have on the Celtics half court offense. So keep an eye out for those pick and rolls tonight and throughout the season, and we should see that 45.4% Score Frequency jump somewhere closer to 50%.