Davis happy to start 'Campaign for Champange'

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Davis happy to start 'Campaign for Champange'

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Glen Davis has an extra bounce to his step these days, and the reason is obvious -- it's playoff time!

Whether he's the Big Ticket Stub or some other fictitious nickname he conjures up for himself, there's no mistaking how amped up he gets for games this time of year.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said this new and improved Davis first surfaced in the second half of Boston's loss at Washington on Monday.

"He's had that sad look on his face for about two weeks," Rivers said. "Then he changed. Now he's playing the game . . . there's sunshine when you look at Baby instead of a dark cloud. That's nice."

Although Davis has shown the ability to put up big scoring numbers, he's at his best for the Celtics when he's doing the little things such as taking charges, getting deflections and forcing taller players to shoot further away from the basket than they want.

"He is a big intangibles guy. That's just who he is," Rivers said. "It's tough for an intangibles guy who is really good, to stay into that instead of thinking, 'Tonight I'm going to do this' . . . when he just comes out and throws his body around and plays hard, he's terrific for our basketball team."

And it's not a coincidence that Davis' improved focus comes with the playoffs right around the corner.

When asked to explain why he seems to love the playoffs so much, Davis said, "I would think just the fact that making your own footprint in history. People don't see that, but I see that a lot."

The Celtics tradition of winning championships -- 17 and counting -- is something not lost on Davis, one of five remaining players from the 2008 championship team.

"Playing for a team like the Celtics, going out there doing something great . . . I'll be sitting back, fat on a farm, turn on NBA TV and look at myself 30 years ago," Davis said. "I think that's what it's about."

Davis' thinking along historical lines goes much deeper.

Shortly after Wednesday's 112-102 win over New York, Davis returned to the locker room and one of his first thoughts was on Game Seven of the NBA Finals last season in which the Celtics came up short against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"It felt like it was yesterday," Davis said. "And now it's like, we're back again."

Davis added, "I'm starting my Campaign for Champagne; trying to get (Banner) 18."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics get a boost from their bench

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics get a boost from their bench

BOSTON –  Questions about Boston’s second unit have lingered all season.

But in the first half of Monday’s game against Charlotte, the Celtics got a major boost from the second unit which paved the way for Boston’s 59-53 lead at the half.

They outscored their Charlotte brethren 21-10 which was instrumental in them fending off an always-tough Charlotte team despite the Hornets (20-20) coming in having lost four in a row – all on the road.

Boston opened with a 10-2 run, the kind of spurt that you knew would likely be followed at some point by a comparable run by the Hornets.

On cue, Charlotte began to chip away at Boston’s lead and eventually went ahead following a pair of Kemba Walker free throws with 3:39 to play.

The teams went back and forth until Boston’s Jaylen Brown, who delivered a moving pre-game speech in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, took over the game with less than a minute to play in the first.

Trailing 30-29, Brown scored the quarter’s final five points to lift Boston to a 34-30 lead going into the second quarter.

In the second quarter, it was Kelly Olynyk – another Celtics reserve - taking over with a slew of baskets and hustle plays including saving a ball from going out of bounds in front of the Charlotte bench and tossing it up court with the Celtics ultimately getting a lay-up from Brown.

With 7:24 to play in the half, Charlotte called a time-out with the Celtics leading 45-40.

The Hornets responded with an 8-3 spurt to tie the game at 48 following a dunk by Spencer Hawes which led to Brad Stevens looking for answers during a Celtics time-out with 5:18 to play in the half.

Boston’s starters eventually returned to the floor in the second quarter and seemingly picked up where their backups left off.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Monday’s game.

 

STARS

Kemba Walker

There was a definite sense of urgency on Walker’s part to do what he could to lead the Hornets out of their four-game funk. He did his part in the first half, scoring 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field.

Al Horford

This was one of the better first halves offensively we’ve seen from Al Horford this season. He led the Celtics with 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field.

 

STUDS

Isaiah Thomas

With what looked like an increased emphasis to get the ball to Horford, Thomas played the role of the other scorer and didn’t disappoint. He had 13 points in the first half along with three assists.

Kelly Olynyk

For the second time in as many games, Olynyk was assertive both on the perimeter and around the basket. And the results by and large, were positive. At the half, he had nine points off the bench to go with five rebounds and three assists.

Jaylen Brown

He provided a major lift at the end of the first quarter, which is when he scored five of his seven first-half points.

Marvin Williams

He gave Boston problems both inside the paint as well as on the perimeter as he tallied 12 points which included a pair of 3-pointers.

 

DUDS

Cody Zeller

His job is to roll to the rim, defend and rebound. He seemed to struggle in all three phases in the first half. He had three points and three rebounds, but when he was on the floor the Hornets had a plus/minus of -7.

Avery Bradley (Achilles) returns to Celtics lineup vs. Hornets

Avery Bradley (Achilles) returns to Celtics lineup vs. Hornets

BOSTON – Avery Bradley will be back in the Boston Celtics’ lineup tonight after missing the previous four games with a right Achilles injury, head coach Brad Stevens announced a few minutes ago.

The return of Bradley strengthens a Celtics roster that’s already playing some of its best basketball of the season, evident by wins in eight of their last 10 games.

And they face a Charlotte team that has dropped four in a row, and are in jeopardy of slipping below .500 for the first time this season.

The Hornets did not have their leading scorer Kemba Walker available the last time they played Boston.

“But again, the things we have to do remain the same,” said Hornets head coach Steve Clifford. “Our pace and play last game was good. I was surprised at the quality of shots we had. But you can’t have breakdowns defensively.”

Which is where having Bradley back in the mix will bode well for Boston’s chances of extending their current season-long home winning streak to seven.

Bradley’s return isn’t the only good news on the health front for Boston.

Kelly Olynyk, coming off a season-high 26 points in Boston’s 103-101 win at Atlanta on Friday, suffered an ankle sprain prior to the team’s practice on Sunday.

Stevens said it wasn’t serious and Olynyk will be available to play tonight.

The only players out for Boston are Tyler Zeller (sinus infection) and James Young (right ankle sprain).