BOSTON - A lot has changed since Glen Davis last played 11 days ago against the Phoenix Suns.
On the night he suffered by a strained tendon in his left knee, his bench mates were Jeff Green, Troy Murphy, Avery Bradley, Von Wafer, and Chris Johnson.
Wafer (calf) was sidelined the following game, and Johnson, who was playing on a 10-day contract, is no longer with team.
So when Davis returned just four games later on Sunday against the Milwaukee Bucks, he had to do a double-take.
The first half I felt weird a little bit, he said following the Celtics 87-56 win. I didnt remember anybody on the team. I was like, Nate? Carlos? I cant even pronounce 77. Sasha? Sasha. Thats bad. I knew his name but I couldnt pronounce it, so I didnt call him anything. Just, Whats up? Hey. (laughs) So Ive got to get familiar with the names, just trying to get in the rhythm.
The faces have changed -- Carlos Arroyo and Sasha Pavlovic have been added to the team since Davis injury -- but Davis looked to bring his same game to the court in his return.
He played just under 18 minutes off the bench and scored nine points (3-for-6 from the floor) while grabbing seven rebounds.
It was great to have Baby back, said Kevin Garnett. We need all the bodies we can have at this point. March is a critical time of the year so to have him back, I think Doc Rivers said we get Delonte West back soon, so the storm is slowly starting to collect and come together.
Davis return helped both the starters and the second unit. The newly acquired players were able to turn to him for his knowledge of the system, while his experience with the starting five gave them a boost when he was on the court with them.
It was good to have him, said Paul Pierce. You get a guy back who understands what we are doing out there for the most part. Hes really familiar. We are constantly trying to figure out sets once we sub with the newer guys so theyre still learning the plays. It was good to have some familiarity in the lineup coming off of the bench with Glen playing with the first unit.
Said Green, Im glad hes back. He gives us a little bit more size in that second unit. Hes a vet on this team in my eyes because hes been here and hes won a championship with them, so its good to have him out there.
Davis admitted that he experienced soreness, which he expects to feel for the rest of the season. He is making a conscious effort to get the necessary rest and treatment to prevent any further problems.
Its not going to be totally fully healed. It just feels better, he said. It just feels real better, and you want that. So Im just going to keep chugging along and hopefully in June, itll be all well worth it.
As Davis continues to work through this injury, he will stick with the same mantra he has followed his entire career.
Im going to do what Doc wants me to do. he said. If he wants me to play 48 minutes, Ill play 48 minutes. If he wants me to play two minutes, Ill play two minutes. Im a guy thats confident in myself. You guys know what I can do, no need to prove it. I just want to do the necessary things to win a championship.
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA