Davis searches to find his role on Celtics

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Davis searches to find his role on Celtics

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

For the first time in years, Big Baby doesn't feel that big anymore.

That's because he isn't, at least not in the Celtics locker room.

After playing undersized down low, Glen Davis will have to find a new role with the additions of Jermaine and Shaquille O'Neal.

"I'm one of the shortest players on the team. Its weird," the 6-foot-9 Davis said. "I've got to find my role and find out what I have to do."

And so begins his journey of determining where he fits in on the Celtics.

This situation is familiar to Davis. During the 2008-09 season, he stepped in at the power-forward position after Kevin Garnett was sidelined. He started every playoff game and made his mark during the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Orlando Magic.

Last season had to readjust his game when Garnett returned from injury. He moved back to the bench, where he was one of the biggest players on a second unit that lacked size. Davis shifted to the low block while Rasheed Wallace played more on the perimeter. He averaged 5.6 rebounds per game during the NBA Finals.

This time around, the Celtics have true centers in the O'Neals, once again changing Davis' role.

"I go from popping, hitting big shots, to rolling to the basket a lot last season," he said. "That's what I needed to do for the team and that's what I did. Now this year, we got fives. So I've just got to know what my role is again this year."

Davis says he will go through some "ups and downs" with Doc Rivers during the process. Rivers says there should be little question of Davis' role.

"Let me put it like this, if Baby doesn't know his role by now, he's going to be sitting down a lot," Rivers said. "I'll just leave it that simple."

But it's not that simple for Davis, especially in a contract year. He tries to focus on basketball, not his personal circumstances, and emphasizes the importance of putting the Celtics first.

"The role I would prefer to play is the role that they want me to play," he said. "If I've got to pop, I'll pop. If I've got to roll, I'll roll. Whatever I've got to do, I'm going to do it. That's what it's all about - sacrificing yourself, sacrificing who you are for the greater good of the team."

His role may change this season, but his outlook has stayed the same.

"I'm just here to help the team whatever possible way I can," he said. "Then when I find my role, I'm just going to do it to the max ability that I can."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcamerato

WATCH: Celtics vs. Rockets

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WATCH: Celtics vs. Rockets

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics play the Rockets in Houston. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

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Celtics-Rockets preview: Get ready for 3-point showdown

Celtics-Rockets preview: Get ready for 3-point showdown

Earlier this month the Boston Celtics took a season-high 42 three-pointers in a game which raised a few eyebrows. 

And you know what?

No one would be surprised if the Celtics (12-8) surpassed that total tonight when they face the Houston Rockets who have set the pace when it comes to launching 3-point bombs in the NBA this season with 37.0 attempts per game. 

The Celtics aren’t too far behind, averaging 30.8 three-pointers which ranks fifth in the NBA.

But what makes these two teams so unique is that in addition to taking a lot of 3s, they also rank among the NBA’s leaders when it comes to knocking them down. 

The Rockets (13-7) make an NBA-high 14.0 three-pointers per game while the Celtics are fifth in the league with 11.1 made 3s per game. 

And the key to that stat is that both teams shoot a surprisingly high percentage from 3-point range as well. 

Houston’s 37.8 percent from 3-point range is the fifth-best mark in the NBA while the Celtics shoot 36.0 percent on 3's which ranks 10th in the league. 

So what does all this 3-ball shooting mean? 

It means get your popcorn ready for what should be one of the more exciting, high-scoring games on the Boston Celtics’ schedule this season.

Here are some other key stats to keep tabs on during tonight’s game. 

 

FIRST QUARTER SCORING

There is no team in the NBA better at jumping on you from the outset, then Houston. They lead the NBA in first-quarter scoring with 31.2 points per game while shooting 51.9 percent in the quarter which is also tops in the NBA. But there’s a downside to their first quarter success. Houston’s first quarter defense is pretty bad, ranking 27th in the league in first-quarter points allowed (28.5) while allowing teams to shoot a league-worst 52.3 percent from the field in the game’s first 12 minutes. 

 

FOURTH QUARTER SCORING

As impressive as Houston is to start games, the Boston Celtics are just as dominant offensively in the fourth quarter. Boston averages a league-best 29.1 points per game in the fourth compared to the Rockets whose 24.4 points in the fourth ranks 21st in the NBA. Boston’s strong finish to games is aided by a defense that seems to save its best work for the fourth quarter. Opponents are shooting just 40.6 percent against the Celtics in the fourth which ranks as the third-best fourth quarter defense in the NBA.

 

OFFENSIVE REBOUND PERCENTAGE

Boston’s struggles on the boards are well documented which includes - but is certainly not limited to - offensive rebounding. The Rockets will present a major problem to Boston when it comes to trying to avoid Houston getting second and third-shot opportunities. The Rockets rank fifth in the NBA in second-chance points (15.3) per game while the Celtics’ defense allows 15.2 second-chance points which ranks 27th in the league. And Boston’s offensive rebounding percentage for opponents ranks dead-last in the NBA at .265.

 

BALL MOVEMENT

Both teams rank among the league leaders in assists per game with Boston’s 24.4 assists per game average No. 2 in the NBA and Houston’s 24.3 assists ranks fourth. But more telling is how the Celtics rely more heavily on keeping the ball moving, more so than the Rockets. You see this in Boston averaging 329.2 passes per game which ranks third in the NBA while the Rockets’ 273.5 passes per game average is 29th in the league. Still, Houston’s passing game is to be respected especially when you consider the lofty assists numbers they’ve racked up in addition to them getting 59.2 points created via the assist according to nba.com/stats

 

TURNOVERS

These two are at opposite ends of the basketball world when it comes to turnovers. Boston commits 12.3 per game which is the fourth-fewest committed in the NBA while the Rockets are turning the ball over 16.1 times per game and that ranks 27th in the league. And these two remain widely far apart in the fourth quarter which is when the Celtics turn the ball over a league-low 2.2 times per game in the fourth while Houston turns the ball more than twice as much (4.5) which ranks 29th in the league.