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The Ghost of Glen Davis Past

November 10, 2009

Shelden doing what Shelden does: crashing the boards.

Shelden doing what Shelden does: crashing the boards.

Sometimes I have these ideas. They are really creative, cool, and catchy. Then I find out, in due time, that my idea has already been thought of and often executed to a higher level of functionality and desirability than I ever could have thought.

But my philosophical question stands: if I thought of an original idea autonomously without any prior knowledge of the actual existing idea, is that moment of intellectuality actually mine as well? I would argue… yes.

This is my predicament. Let me share with you, just for a moment, my ideas for upcoming columns for this week:

• The efficiency of Shelden Williams on the glass and the impact of his hustle on the floor
• The Celtics current struggles to get to the FT line
• Rondo’s match-ups with some of the league’s best PGs early on and how he will behave
• The strength of our bench offensively compared to last year

Ok. Celtics Hub wrote about the Celtics issues with getting to the stripe this morning. Celtics Blog wrote about Shelden’s work in the paint. Celtics Blog wrote about whether Rondo was going to be talking trash against D-Will this week when playing against the Jazz. Celtics Hub mentioned the strength of the second unit on offense referencing my go-to stat site of


I guess you can’t contain good ideas from good writers that are hungry in this early season. We are all eager to perform full, all-out dissection of Celtics games. I’m going to keep these topics on my sticky note in case they crop up later on in a different form. The Rondo article will appear later on this week (not quite hit so far in the Celtics blogosphere).

For today? Let’s talk about Glen Davis. Notice how I’m following Wyc’s lead: no more Big Baby if I can help it. While it is a bit of a reflex to just refer to him as Big Baby, Baby, or BBD, I’m going to do my best to call him Glen Davis, Davis, or even Glen. Have you actually stopped to think about how his school teachers used to call him “Glen”? Think about an 11 year old 5’-9” 191 in front of you with 5 kids pinned to the ground: “Excuse me, Glen, can you stop killing those kids?”

What happens when Glen returns?
Well, let’s answer that by figuring out what Glen brings to the Celtics.

  • An ability to stretch the floor with his improving mid-range jumper
  • The power to box out the bigger bigs on opposing teams to make way for guys like Rondo to get boards (you know, the guys that can actually get off the ground)
  • An improved ability to finish near the rim
  • He plays hard and hustles and is willing to sacrifice his body
  • A tough, tough guy who can get beat up and play physical (so our big finesse players don’t have to)

Those are all qualities that we need from a role player. There is no doubt about that. But… what about Glen’s deficiencies in his game?

  • He can’t play above the rim (at all)
  • He can’t rebound because he can’t get off the floor
  • Glen whines and cries
  • While he’s heavy, he doesn’t have length to guard the taller PFs in the league
  • While he may be agile for a guy his size, he still isn’t that quick in the grand scheme of things
  • There’s a relatively low ceiling for his post moves: who knows how much better they’ll really get
The perfect system for Shelden Williams.

The perfect system for Shelden Williams.

In comes Shelden Williams. (follow him on twitter @sheldenwilliams, one of the best NBA-ers to follow)
There isn’t a better scenario for Shelden: The Landlord™. While the lotto pick got lost in the shuffle during his bounce-around to teams like ATL, SAC, ATL, MIN, and then back to SAC, there is no better system for him than the Boston Celtics. The Landlord™ is surrounded by veterans, especially veteran bigs like KG and Perk (while Perk is young, this is his 7th year…) and he isn’t being asked to carry a team in any way. Specifically, his role has been defined very early on and clearly and he is proving that his minuscule salary was one of the best off-season pick-ups. Rebound, play defense, hustle = playing time and salary.

Understand that I have no college/university allegiance. I don’t follow college basketball: it’s overwhelming. Regardless if you like Duke or not, you have to respect it’s program. Regardless if you like Coach K or not, you have to respect him. There is an atmosphere of hard-work, an expected high level basketball IQ, and that you can play a role for a team expected to win in a pressured situation.

Guess what? The Celtics system is the same. Duke bled blue for its team and players, while Boston bleeds green for its team and players. A great fit.

Glen Davis. Not Big Baby. Not Baby. Just Glen. Davis.

Glen Davis. Not Big Baby. Not Baby. Just Glen. Davis.

When Glen finally returns, his minutes are in danger. They are even more in danger come playoff time when we’ll have an 8-9 man rotation. Who is going to fill the other bigs role off the bench besides Sheed? If I’m judging based on where Glen left last season at the conclusion of the Orlando series with the way that The Landlord’s™ playing, I’m going with The Landlord™.

  • Shelden hustles.
  • He has bought into his role with the Celtics.
  • He rebounds.
  • He lays defense.
  • He’s got length.
  • He isn’t selfish.

Most of all? Shelden seems to be playing with chip on his shoulder and is out to prove something… but he’s mature enough to know how to handle the situation. Shelden, Quisy, and Sheed are all shaping up to be a 3-3 hat trick for Danny this summer.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2009 5:45 pm

    I think Baby can get up above the rim:

    • November 10, 2009 7:27 pm

      Ehh. Unimpressed.

    • November 11, 2009 2:34 am

      If you look at the replay… he barely is above the rim. Maybe a finger tip?
      Love the shot of Mikki on the bench. Ew.
      Had to.

  2. November 10, 2009 8:57 pm

    First off, let me say… well-done man. A fully-rounded piece with analysis that doesn’t come completely from the statsheet. I can clearly see from this piece that you really pay attention to the games (even when you’re live bloggin’ it with a technological buffoon like me).

    That being put out there, I’m gonna have to say… I strongly, strongly, disagree here. Glen Davis is one of the best outside shooting big man (oh, and I’ll remind you that I’m infatuated with Glen Davis. Still, I can bring stats into this and make a worthy argument that he’s sitting right behind KG and Timmy and Yao. Though he doesn’t have quite the range Matt Bonner, Dirk, Rasheed, Rashard Lewis, or even KG has).

    He’s proven he can throw his best punches in crunch-time, while Shelden hasn’t. Granted he hasn’t gotten a chance if my memory isn’t failing me, and Davis has struck twice, and in a vehement fashion, if I may say so. The Orlando game was pressure-packed as ever, yes, but the spotlight of the San Antonio game was thrown under the bus by the time YouTube videos of the Orlando game accompanied by dramatic piano skits were flying up every where you turned.

    But enough about his shooting. The real thing that comes to mind when you think of Glen Davis is clandestine defense. Davis cements a space in the paint where he won’t allow the offender past, staples a wide and abnormally low (for the more lanky big men) position where he can fall back to if he allows his matchup to catch the ball too far into the paint (a rare course of events).

    He’s exceptional in the passing lane. He’s always sticking a hand out, he rarely ever lets a ball zip past him, and he has unbelievable court vision. Once in a blue moon you’ll see Davis not giving the guy dishing the entry pass trouble, and he will be HOUNDING the receiver of the pass. He’s shockingly flexible for his size, and he can literally coat a player from toes to chest. He’ll have his head peeking over the player’s shoulder constantly.

    He’s wonderful in the fast break game. He has terrific hands, and can recover any ball in his general area. Like you mentioned, he’s a great finisher, being able to flick it in even with contact, and has the soft touch invaluable to Yao Ming’s game.

    He puts the same amount of effort into the game Shelden does. He has the heart, the passion, the blaze… whatever you want to call it. Sure, he may tear up. He may shout unnecessarily. He may plead for what he wants (primarily because he thinks it’ll make the team better; but not because he’s a pompous jerk). But Glen Davis does that because he’s a fiery character.

    And what are those Celtics described as?

    A fiery group of competitors.

    I like Shelden, I really do. He’s a great complement to our corps of big men. But the potential and striving for excellence all comes back to Glen Davis.

    • November 11, 2009 12:44 am

      That. Might. Be. The. Longest. Comment. Ever.

      Anyway. I agree with a lot of points you made, mainly being that he’s shown gusto when necessary and he’s good in the passing lane.

      BUT, I’m not 100% confident in his jumpshot. Are we relying this all on the fact that he nailed a shot to win a game? I sure hope not.

      Would you rather have I’d rather have KG, Sheed, Ray, and Pierce take that shot before Glen. Even Eddie. Even Quisy. Glen is far down the list of who I want taking a mid range J at the end of the game. That being said, I think Shelden offers the length, the boards, and the quicker body to make rotations that Glen still can’t make.

      But, I’m sure I’ll be wrong and will regret this post. Wouldn’t be the first time.

      Love the comment, CF. Love it!

  3. November 11, 2009 2:11 am

    Nice analysis Loscy.

    Celticsfanatic, you should post that comment on ur site, it’s an article in itself (lol). I must say, however, despite the length of the comment, I agree with it completely.

    Big Baby will take his normal spot in the rotation and Shelden will take the back seat. If our guy’s are in foul trouble in the second half of the game, I’d like to see BBD with the ball– not Shelden.

    Plus– BBD spreads the court in similar fashion to KG and Sheed’s ability to do so. He can hit free throws late in the game, he can hit from 15-20 feet out and he can rebound (remember– rebounding is just as much position and boxing out as it is jumping ability).

    All in all, though I have learned to love Shelden (his twitter responses nearly make it impossible to not love him), I have to pick BBD in my rotations before Williams.

    Nice read man.

    • November 11, 2009 2:30 am

      I’ll push my agenda onto you, too, NSS! Haha.
      I think that when it comes down to it, we have enough scorers. Shots will fall. I want the ball in the hands of Sheed, KG, Pierce, Ray, Eddie, Rondo, and Quisy before Glen Davis. So if we have enough fire power on offense from the other guys, what are we looking for off the bench? We are looking for roles to fill. A guy with length (that sounds terrible). A guy that can play above the rim. I think I want that to be Shelden.

      Glen obviously has an offensive advantage, but I’m not sure I need his defensive liability down the stretch.

      Thanks for reading! Love the disagreements!!!


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