How Davis re-discovered his rhythm


How Davis re-discovered his rhythm

By JessicaCamerato

BOSTON - Glen Davis had enough.

He hung his head and stared at the ground as he searched for answers following Thursdays loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

That night he had followed up a 1-for-5 shooting performance against the Charlotte Bobcats by going 3-for-10 from the field. The Boston Celtics had lost both contests, and Davis had lost his feel for the game.

I dont know. I dont know, he told as he shook his head, searching for an explanation. I just need to get back in my rhythm. I dont have a good rhythm.

Davis admitted he had been rushing his shots and was not taking enough time on the court. The numbers were reflective of his struggle - he had scored just one field goal in four of his previous ten games, compared to his season average of nearly 12 points.

After garnering consideration for Sixth Man of the Year, Davis was slipping.

Things have just started going downward, he said. Ill find it, though. Ill find my rhythm.

Days later, Davis did just that.

On Sunday he exploded off the bench with 16 points against the Miami Heat. He shot 6-for-11 from the field and clinched an 85-82 win by hitting two free throws with 6.3 seconds left.

His strong showing was the result of a commitment he made to himself following the Lakers game.

That game affected me because I didnt really feel like a force, he told following the Celtics win. The last couple of games I havent really been a force and playing the way I was playing at the beginning of the year. I need games like this. I need to be in the mix when its big teams like this.

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers credited their bench (which was primarily Davis and Von Wafer, minus five minutes from Nate Robinson and nine seconds from Avery Bradley) for winning the game in the first first half. He deemed Davis and Wafer terrific, a far cry from the self-criticism Davis had been inflicting on himself.

Mentally, I just went out there and said, Im going to be aggressive, he said. The mental mindset has to be different - you have to understand whats up. Its weird, you cant really explain it. Youve kind of got to manifest it, like, Im going to go out there, get the rebound, Im going to shoot. And do it. No matter what happens, you just do it. And thats what I did. When I got the ball the first time, I just put it up.

This wasnt Davis best offensive performance. He missed five field goals, including a fastbreak dunk attempt that came up short. But he kept at it and even used the failed fastbreak as motivation.

"I can't wait to see it on ESPN Not Top 10," he joked. "That was a classic one. I was laughing. I'm glad it happened because it kind of got me going in the game."

When the buzzer sounded, Davis was the Celtics second-leading scorer. It was his highest point total since January 5 against the San Antonio Spurs, when he dropped 23 as a starter.

Only days after hanging his head in disappointment, Davis stood proudly as a key contributor in this highly touted matchup.

The Lakers game was the last straw for me, he said. This whole second half is going to be a different half.

On Sunday he got an early start to it.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

Sixers' success against C's defense shows Boston still has room to grow


Sixers' success against C's defense shows Boston still has room to grow

Avery Bradley was a member of the NBA’s All-Defensive first team a year ago. And Al Horford has been among the league’s best interior defenders for a number of years.

But as talented defensively as they may be, the Celtics are still learning how to play with each other as well as off of one another.

Injuries have slowed down the chemistry developing as quickly as some might expect. Horford missed nine games due to a concussion, and another game due to wife giving birth to their second child, Alia Horford.

And in Boston’s 107-106 win over Philadelphia on Saturday night, defensive chemistry -- not only among Horford and Bradley, but with all of the players -- remains a work in progress for sure.

Boston had a number of defensive issues in the first half which factored in the Sixer shooting 46.1 percent from the field while shooting 9-for-18 from 3-point range.

But the second half was an entirely different story as Boston’s defense picked up his intensity and focus level which would prove to be just enough to beat a scrappy Sixers team.

The Celtics (12-8) are four games over .500 for the first time this season currently have the third-best record in the Eastern Conference behind Cleveland (13-5) and Toronto (14-6). 

And while the players point to a handful of games that they felt they gave away, Avery Bradley reminds all that the success of this team this season has for the most part come with key players out of the mix or limited in some capacity.

“We haven’t played that many games with the full roster,” Bradley told reporters after the win. “We’re still learning how to play with each other.”

Bradley pointed out a moment in Saturday’s victory where a miscommunication between him and Horford led to a defensive miscue.

Boston has had similar mistakes made on offense this season, too.

“We haven’t really been in pick-and-roll that much,” Bradley said. “Every single game we need to improve.”

And that improvement has to continue evolving on the defensive side of things for this team to achieve its goals this season which include being among the last teams standing in the East.

Doing that will likely mean Boston re-establishing itself as a defensive force, something that should come with time and experience playing with each other.

Horford, who signed a four-year, $113 million deal with Boston in the offseason, says it’s an ongoing process for all involved.

“I have to learn to play with our concepts, the guys have to learn to play with me,” Horford told reporters after Saturday’s win. “We just have to make sure we keep playing the right way, be more consistent with that. I feel like we’re getting better but there’s still some work that we need to do.”

Stars, studs and duds: Thomas churns out another strong fourth quarter performance


Stars, studs and duds: Thomas churns out another strong fourth quarter performance

The pressure that comes with a tight game in the fourth quarter can be a weighty proposition for some NBA players.

Then there’s Boston’s Isaiah Thomas who continues to save his best work for the fourth quarter.

Saturday’s 107-106 win at Philadelphia had yet another Thomas-like finish for the Celtics as the 5-foot-9 guard was at his most dominant state in the game’s final minutes.

Thomas finished with a season high-tying 37 points which included a stretch in the fourth in which he scored 12 straight.

“I just love the fourth quarter,” Thomas told reporters following the win. “I just want to win. Whether it’s making plays for myself or making plays for my teammates, it’s about making the right play. I get ultra- aggressive in that fourth quarter. That’s what I’ve always done.”

And his teammates appreciate how Thomas elevates his play in the game’s most pivotal moments.

“A lot of the credit is to Isaiah, how he was able to finish the game tonight,” said Avery Bradley. “He was able to make shots when we needed him to.”

And while Thomas knows his shots won’t fall all the time down the stretch, his fourth quarter mentality does provide him with a level of confidence that no matter what the defense does to him or what the score may be, he can swing the game’s momentum in his team’s favor.

“Some guys get a little tight, they get a little timid (in the fourth quarter),” Thomas said. “I embrace it. I want to be great. I want to be somebody my teammates can call on when the game is close.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Saturday night’s game.


Isaiah Thomas: There was no more dominant player on Saturday night than Thomas. He finished with a game-high 37 points along with seven assists.

Dario Saric: It was a breakout game for the 22-year-old rookie who led the Sixers with 21 points as well as 12 rebounds for his third double-double this season. Both his points and rebound totals tied his career highs in those categories.


Avery Bradley: Boston’s surge towards victory did not kick in until the third quarter which is when Bradley elevated his play offensively. In the third he scored 10 of his 20 points on the night, to go along with a team-high nine rebounds.

Ersan Illyasova: He finished with 18 points which included a pair of three-pointers in the closing seconds of the game. He also grabbed six rebounds and two assists.


Celtics first half defense: There wasn’t much to like about Boston defensively in the first half. The Celtics struggled to take away or limit Philadelphia’s only strength Saturday night which was three-point shooting. The Sixers nailed nine of their 18 three-point attempts in the first half in addition to hurting the Celtics’ transition defense which gave up seven fast-break points to Philly compared to Boston scoring just one point in transition.