Greeting from Waltham, where it’s time to break down the practice proceedings today. Luckily, for my sake, this won’t take too long since the team spent a brief 20 minutes on the floor before exiting in preparation for their afternoon departure to New York. Given their tough upcoming schedule (4 games in 5 nights, 3 coming on the road) it’s no surprise Doc went easy on the guys today, especially after yesterday’s big win.
Doc fielded some questions from reporters after the short session. Bench sparkplugs Tony Allen and Glen Davis also spoke with reporters briefly after their strong efforts yesterday, as they were officially declared to be in the playoff rotation by Doc, in the postgame. A few words, first from Doc.
On the “hatred” between the Cavs and C’s:
“I like the hatred, I think that’s good. These teams don’t like each other for some reason, I don’t ever think that’s a bad thing personally. I just don’t want to see that officiated, just line them up and let them play.
On Marquis Daniels and Nate Robinson’s role right now:
“Their role is to keep working everyday in practice. There’s a day and a time when we will need them. When someone gets in foul trouble or someone might not be playing well, same for goes for Shelden. Right now, they are out of the rotation but it doesn’t mean they won’t be back in it.”
This situation is really amazing, when you think about it. Who would have thought that Nate could have played himself out of the rotation so quickly? Or that Tony Allen would have beaten out Marquis Daniels for meaningful minutes by the end of this year?
I have to give Doc credit though for both moves, despite how unlikely both scenarios would have appeared, even a month ago. TA never really had a bad stretch of play, he was really bumped out of the rotation by default with the arrival of Michael Finley. The fact is he is the more consistent player right now, with better upside than Marquis on both sides of the ball. I was pining for him to get more minutes a couple weeks back. I generally don’t like to toot my own horn, but let’s flashback a couple weeks
Let’s get back to TA though. I don’t see him earning back Finley’s minutes, since well, he can’t shoot and Finley can. That’s not going to change. However, there is one guy’s minutes that I wonder if Allen will get a crack at getting some of, especially if he doesn’t step it up soon, and those are Marquis Daniels.
Is Tony Allen better than Marquis Daniels? I’m not saying that. However, Daniels has been consistently inconsistent right now. So what would I like to see? I wouldn’t mind TA getting a few of Daniels minutes in these games, especially if Quisy is looking passive early on in his outing.It’s a criticism that Doc has laid upon him recently.
In any case, I am just happy to see Doc give Tony a chance to work himself back into the rotation, and he answered the bell accordingly. Who knows who long it will last, but glad to see Allen come full circle this year, with this team.
As far as Nate goes, this team will need his offensive firepower at some point in the postseason. He wasn’t providing it recently, as was chronicled last week here at Celtics Hub, his struggles were glaring and defensive lapses were just as damaging.
So here’s hoping he returns with authority, when he’s given the chance, kind of like he did in New York, putting up 45 points against Atlanta in his first game back. Some version of that will help.
On Shelden Williams/Big Baby minute battle:
“I went back and forth honestly before yesterday’s game between Shelden and Baby, because Shelden has been playing so well, they are so close. It won’t take much to get either on or off the floor.”
Something to keep an eye on as the season unfolds, the battle between these to for minutes. Glen seemed to reassert himself yesterday with a strong performance in 14 minutes and remains confident in himself and his abilities going forward to help this team. Hell, he was so confident, he even referred to himself in the 3rd person.
“The confidence is coming. Sometimes I get down on myself, since I know I get play better, I know I can help the team more. I’m a very emotional player and get really down on myself sometimes. I really just need to go out there and play, play on feel. You listen to your teammates and coaches, but you just gotta go out there and be the player you are. That’s what I’ve been trying to do recently, it’s the Big Baby you’ve seen out there recently, being energetic, running the floor, everywhere, all over the floor.”
Preach on, Glen. That’s really the player this team needs right now. If he and TA can keep a level head and give this energy without the drawbacks.
Finally some words on TA from what’s been different this year, compared to last year, besides the injuries:
“More focused, and know what we need to be doing out there offensively and defensively. That’s really carried over for me. It’s been a long year for me, but there’s still a long way to go.”
It took a couple years, but TA has really figured it out, not pressing on offense, just taking the opportunities that are given to him.