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

Jae Crowder talks about constant trade rumors; love for Boston and Brad Stevens

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Jae Crowder talks about constant trade rumors; love for Boston and Brad Stevens

Celtics forward Jae Crowder talks with Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine talks about building on a breakthrough season last year, and the love for his head coach Brad Stevens, and for the city of Boston.

Also, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely talk about what lies ahead for Crowder in 2016/17.

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Bradley knows the risks of his all-out brand of defense

Bradley knows the risks of his all-out brand of defense

WALTHAM – There are a number of NBA players we have seen through the years whose effort level has been questioned.
 
But when it comes to Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley, that has never been an issue.
 
In fact, Bradley’s all-out style of defense has been a major factor in him being sidelined for an extended period of time in each of his six NBA seasons.
 
Although he’s only 25 years old, Bradley is starting to embrace the idea of less all-out defense might not be such a bad idea.
 
“It’s hard to control my injuries because I play hard every single possession,” Bradley told CSNNE.com following the team’s first practice. “I can’t say that every NBA player doesn’t, but I know there’s not a lot. I play hard every single possession especially on the defensive end. That can take a toll on your body. I just have to make sure I’m taking care of myself and picking my spots a little better.”
 
Prior to the Celtics selecting Bradley with the 19th overall pick in the 2011, he suffered a dislocated shoulder injury. Throughout his five NBA seasons, the veteran guard has a long list of injuries which has sidelined him for at least five games every season in addition to missing some playoff games.
 
Knowing the risks involved in continuing his all-out brand of basketball, the fact that Bradley is even open to the idea of picking when to assert himself defensively and when to be more passive, is progress.
 
“I’m pretty sure someone like (ex-Celtics) Tony Allen …  he’s not going to go hard like every possession,” Bradley said. “He’s going to pick his spots, still play good defense.”
 
Which is exactly what Bradley is striving to do this season, and show that last season’s all-NBA First Team Defense nod wasn’t a fluke.

But as we have seen with Bradley throughout his career with the Celtics, he has a way of coming back every season having made a significant stride in some facet of the game to become closer to being a two-way player.
 
“That’s my goal; I want my teammates to be able to count on me playing well at both ends of the floor,” Bradley said.
 
And as I mentioned earlier, Bradley is still a relatively young guy who turns 26 years old in November.
 
‘I’m still a 90s baby’ just like everybody on this team,” quipped Bradley.
 
Being so young puts a premium of sorts on players to learn all they can as quickly as they can in relation to their respective team.
 
“I feel young; I feel young,” Bradley said. “I feel young. I still haven’t even played a full season yet. This will be my first season playing a whole season.”
 
Listening to Bradley talk about adjusting how he plays defensively, it’s pretty clear that he’s having an internal tug-of-war between continuing to play elite defense and easing up defensively.
 
“That’s just me. Some people can do it. Maybe I could take some (plays) off, play passing lanes,” Bradley said. “But I don’t think I’ll ever change into that. It could help our team out a little bit.”