Big Baby's focus this year: Ubunt-me, not ubuntu

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Big Baby's focus this year: Ubunt-me, not ubuntu

By Jimmy Toscano
CSNNE.com

Doc Rivers and Glen Davis have always had one of those "tough love" relationships.

Davis has made his fair share of mistakes over the first four years of his career and some of them have come at not just the expense of himself, but of the Celtics, too.

Rivers has never been shy to call him out on them. But he always gave him another chance, while acknowledging that Davis is being forced to grow up in front of all of us. It's tough to do.

It also made it easier to forgive Davis when he contributed in the way the Celtics needed him to -- as the sixth man, providing defense, hustle, and energy.

Davis went 0-for-3 in those categories towards the end of the regular season and into the playoffs, deciding to focus more on "Ubunt-me" than Ubuntu.

"To me, I thought it was more in between his ears than his play," Rivers said on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan Morning Show on Monday. "I thought the whole contract thing affected his play. I thought he had the wrong focus at times because of that. I think when you stray away from just being a team player and . . . the role that youre given, I think you struggle. I think all players do. And I thought Baby did that."

Rivers attributed Davis' lack of production to the fact that he was trying too hard to fill the stat sheet with numbers, and eventually his pockets with cash, by scoring more.

Except all he was doing was forcing shots, not being physical enough down low, and most importantly not being dependable down the stretch.

"I thought scoring was way too important to him, instead of being who he is," Rivers said. "Babys never going to be a great scorer in our league, but he can score. What Baby has to be is an energy player, a guy who takes charges. When you look at his charge numbers from the first 40 games and then the last 40, theyre cut down, he got very few of them."

Perhaps Davis goes to bed every night and dreams of that game-winning jumper he hit a few years back in the playoffs against Orlando. That year Kevin Garnett went down, and Davis stepped in for him and did a commendable job, starting all 14 games in the playoffs and averaging almost 16 points.

He thought he could cash in off that success going into the offseason as a restricted free agent. But the offers didn't come -- and Davis came back to the C's on a two-year deal with his tail between his legs.

That playoff success didn't come this season, and it's probably due to the fact that he wanted it too badly.

"Weve got to get him back in the right frame of mind," Rivers said. "Babys a good basketball player. He can help us or any other team. But, to me, only if he plays the right way."

But Davis, who Rivers guessed had gained weight during the season, already has his eyes set on any other team that will allow him to "showcase his talents" as a starter. That opportunity is not presently an option on the Celtics, and doesn't look like it will be.

Still, Rivers, as he's done over the past four seasons, would welcome Davis back.

"Yeah, if we can get him for the right price," he said. "I think it would be nice, but we cant overpay."

If Davis doesn't change, he could be the one paying.

Follow Jimmy Toscano on Twitter at http:twitter.comJimmy_Toscano

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


 

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
 
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
 
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
 
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
 
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
 
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
 
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
 
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
 
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
 
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”