Faverani embraces being member of Celtics family

Faverani embraces being member of Celtics family
December 14, 2013, 3:45 pm
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(USA Today Sports)

WALTHAM, Mass. — Like so many NBA rookies, most of what Vitor Faverani is experiencing now is completely foreign to him.

Navigating through the usual ups and downs that all first-year players experience in some fashion, is easier with family and friends nearby.

Making friends has not been an issue for the easy going big man.

But his family is still in Brazil, leaving the 25-year-old in a foreign country with a new set of teammates to make his way on his own.

He has played professionally overseas, so being away from family is something he's familiar with.

And the Celtics have been good to him, making him feel as though he is indeed a part of the Celtics family.

But it's not the same.

"My family for me ..."

Faverani pauses for a couple seconds to make sure his words are understood with absolute clarity.

 "... It's all I have in my life," he says. "So I think it's hard for me."

And then the smile returns.

"But it's OK," he tells CSNNE.com. "They can live in Brazil. It's cold here."

Taking life as it comes has been a central part of Faverani's introduction to the NBA.

He's averaging 5.1 points and 4.2 rebounds in 15 minutes per game, but those minutes could easily be five one night and 25 another.

And even as his playing time fluctuated, Faverani staying ready for action has not changed.

"They (coaches) decide what's best for the team," Faverani told CSNNE.com following Saturday's practice. "I always respect coach (Brad Stevens) decision. And they decide (on Friday) for me to play the last minutes. I'm working hard. So I'm ready for those moments."

Faverani had seven points in just under 14 minutes as the Celtics rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the New York Knicks, 90-86.

The bulk of Faverani's minutes came in the fourth quarter while Jared Sullinger sat on the  bench. Sullinger still had a solid game with 19 points and six rebounds.

"Sully made good, very good game," Faverani said. "And he grab rebounds, make the points, defense."

So when Stevens called Faverani to enter the game and kept him in while taking Sullinger out with 5:54 to play, 'wooh' was Faverani's response.

"It was the last quarter, hard game ... but I tell you, I'm ready for the moments to play the game," Faverani said.

Boston head coach Brad Stevens recalled his two Final Four runs at Butler were each sparked by a seldom-used player who made a few plays that ultimately helped them win.

"It's pretty neat," said Stevens of those experiences, and then added, "it's given me more faith as a coach moving forward that it's OK to ride the hot hand even if it's not somebody that's played a lot."

After Friday's win, Sullinger was among those praising the play of Faverani.

"I'm happy for Vitor," Sullinger said. "His minutes have been real inconsistent. For the simple fact that he sat there and didn't sulk, didn't play, never did anything and he really helped out tonight. He played great, helped us win."

Among Faverani's biggest plays was a lay-up with less than a minute to play that came on an assist from Jordan Crawford.

"I was planning to shoot a little floater, but I saw Vitor at the last minute," Crawford told CSNNE.com. "He played big minutes for us."

Faverani said the comfort he feels with being part of the Celtics family has helped him as a player and as a person.

That said, family is still family.

So if he seems a little bit more chipper than usual in the coming weeks, that's because his 18-year-old brother Isaac will be coming to Boston soon.

He should arrive on Sunday depending on if weather permits.

Just the mention of Isaac's arrival brings out an ear-to-ear grin in the 6-foot-11 big man.

Like a doting dad, Vitor talks about how Isaac is really smart and is gearing up for college.

"I like father to him," said Faverani, smiling. "He's my big baby. I love him."

And Faverani plans to make the most of his time with Isaac, just like he values every chance he gets to play for the Celtics.

"When you have (family), everything is easy you know," Faverani said. "Go home, smile with him, play Playstation, go to restaurants ... I'm excited."

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