Davis playing too many minutes for Rivers' liking

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Davis playing too many minutes for Rivers' liking

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Glen Davis once again took more shots from the field than any other Boston Celtic in Monday night's 108-102 loss to Houston.

Shooting wasn't the problem. Davis had 12 points as he hit 6-for-14 from the floor.

His defense was another story.

Houston's Luis Scola only had 12 points, but all but two of those points came in the third quarter in which the Rockets increased their one-point lead at the half, to six.

Most of Scola's points came with Davis defending him.

Davis' struggles defensively mirrored and entire Celtics team that turned in what coach Doc Rivers described as one of the worst defensive efforts he has seen in the last three or four seasons.

As for Davis, Rivers believes Davis' problems is quite simple: He's playing too many minutes.

On Monday, Davis played just more than any other Celtics player (including Rajon Rondo) with just under 38 minutes of action.

"He's getting too many minutes, honestly," said Rivers, who was quick to blame himself. "Thirty-eight minutes is too many for Baby. That's too many minutes and that's on me. Baby shouldn't play more than in the thirty-range, because I think the fatigue is bothering him."

But when Rivers looks down at his injury-riddled bench, it's not like he's got a ton of options to choose from as a substitution for Davis.

Luke Harangody had a double-double on Friday against Toronto, but you have to put his 17-point, 11-rebound performance in perspective.

It was against the Toronto Raptors.

"Luke's playing OK," Rivers said. "But we may have to go small."

A small lineup likely means more action for Marquis Daniels, who had 19 points off the Celtics bench against the Rockets.

Daniels has been one of the few players for the C's off the bench who seems to actually play better when given quality minutes.

Because of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, Daniels' minutes aren't likely to get too outrageous.

In an earlier interview with CSNNE.com, Daniels talked about his ever-changing role with the Celtics this season.

"Doc knows I'm up for whatever he needs me to do, whatever position he wants me to play," Daniels said. "With this team, it's all about finding ways to win. I'll do whatever Doc needs me to do, to make that happen."

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

WATCH: Celtics vs. Hornets

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Celtics-Hornets preview: Boston, Charlotte heading in opposite directions

Celtics-Hornets preview: Boston, Charlotte heading in opposite directions

BOSTON -- The last time Boston saw the Charlotte Hornets last month, both teams were streaking in the wrong direction with each coming in having lost three in a row.

Both come into tonight’s game streaking, although in two very different directions.

Boston (25-15) has won 12 of its last 15 games to firmly establish itself as the third-best team in the East behind Cleveland and Toronto. Meanwhile the Hornets (20-20) are on the cusp of falling below .500 for the first time this season after losing their last four games.

Still, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen enough of this Hornets team to know that a win tonight won’t come easily.

“This is a good team,” Stevens said. “We all know Charlotte. They don’t beat themselves. We’ve had to play really well against those guys. This is going to be a tough one, as we all know.”

Figuring out why these two teams are trending in opposite directions isn’t all that complicated.

For the Celtics, their success of late has hinged heavily on their ability to make 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s problems have had a lot to do with a tough slate of road games (all four of their recent losses were on the road) and their inability to make shots which has been an issue in some form for them all season regardless of the opponent.

Look at the last four games, all of which the Hornets lost while the Celtics won three of their four games in that span.

The Hornets rank 21st in scoring with a 101.5 points per game average while the Celtics average 110.8 points which ranks 8th in the league.

Charlotte ranks dead-last in the league the last four games when it comes to shooting the ball (40.5 percent), while Boston comes in 18th at 46.0 percent.

But it’s the 3-point shot and its impact on having an effective field goal percentage, that really separates these two.

Boston has averaged a league-best 15.3 made 3-pointers in the last four games while the Hornets and their 9.8 made 3’s ranks 20th.

And as far as its impact on eFG%, Boston comes in with the eighth-best eFG% in the league (54.8 percent) while the Hornets next-to-last in the NBA with an eFG% of .462.

So what does that mean tonight?

Boston will look to continue being fueled offensively by good ball movement and attacking the rim which in turn should result in lots of good looks from 3-point range which is clearly a strength of this team.

Charlotte will search for other sources of offense besides former UConn star Kemba Walker who is on the short list of candidates for a spot on this year’s Eastern Conference all-star roster.

As was the case in Charlotte’s 102-93 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, an off-night shooting for Walker (17 points, 7-for-23 shooting with three assists) left the Hornets extremely vulnerable to defeat. Similar struggles tonight will provide a similar ending for Charlotte which would allow both teams to continue streaking along … something the Celtics wouldn’t mind at all.