It’s fair to say that Glen “Big Baby” Davis has been the most consistent bench player for the Celtics all season. As he goes, so goes the Boston bench.
He was one of the most productive bench players in the league, finishing 3rd in the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year voting just a few weeks ago. So it only stands to reason that as he struggled in the first round of the playoffs against the Knicks, the Boston bench has in turn followed suit. "Listen, you struggle and play bad, you’re down on yourself, that’s human nature," Doc Rivers said about Davis. "He still has confidence and he’ll be fine. Baby is an energy player for us…when you start thinking what’s wrong, you usually play poorly. When you just play reactive and with your instincts, you’re probably a pretty good player. And that’s what he needs to get back to."
Davis, at only 26 years of age, is the leader and veteran off a bench where he is the only returning player from recent years passed. New comers Jeff Green, Delonte West and Nenad Krstic are also relied upon, but Davis is the player most familiar with the Boston schemes both offensively and defensively. His performance in the first round was below standard and he is more than capable of picking it up against the Heat. "I feel like I’ve contributed something, but you guys haven’t seen the real Big Baby yet in playoff time…I’m trying to get out there and make it happen for our team" said Davis to ESPN Boston just a few days ago. A look into his averages proves Baby correct.
Regular Season Averages
Regular Season Averages vs. Miami
First Round Playoff Averages vs. New York
11.7pts, 5.4rebs, 44.8fg%
10.2pts, 6.2rebs, 50fg%
6pts, 5rebs, 45.8fg%
While the numbers are not overwhelming it is Davis’s ability to hit open jumpers, operate in the post on occasion, and take charges on defense that make him invaluable to the Celtics’ reserves. Davis led the league in Having filled in for multiple frontline Celtic injuries Davis remains ready no matter how large or small his role is each night. He continues to have a blossoming NBA career despite being a “tweener” by traditional NBA standards. Opposing teams continue to underrate his ability to hit jumpers and his better than average foot work on the block. While there are times where Baby tries to get “too cute” with his play, Boston knows they would struggle tremendously without the spark he usually provides.
It’s going to take a total team effort for the Celtics to rid themselves of the wretched Heat in the 2nd round and the bench is key starting with Davis. "We feel our bench is better than theirs, way deeper than theirs. We have to take advantage of that...they're getting better, but you have to see how they play in the playoffs against a real Celtics basketball team." It would appear the real Celtics have woken up just in time for the playoffs, now it is up to Baby to awake from his first round nap to help make Banner 18 more than just a dream.