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Preseason Recap: Has Glen Davis Become the New Tony Allen?

 

The Preseason is over and what better way to kill time before the regular season than to try and draw any conclusions from eight meaningless games.  Today’s topic is Glen Davis.

To some, Glen Davis embodies everything about Celtic Pride.  He hustles on the court, is not afraid to get his nose dirty (or bloody), and he does whatever coach Doc Rivers asks him to do.  To others, he is the most frustrating player on the team. 

He  is not tall enough to guard NBA centers, he is not quick enough to guard NBA small forwards, he plays with too much emotion, and he tries to finish over much taller players which proves to be largely unsuccessful.

I happen fall under the former but I understand the latter.

Davis’ detractors will point to the fact that Davis appears to be a statistical abyss.  Davis is above league average in usage rate but has a below average Player Efficiency Rating and Win Score (HoopData) for all power forwards that played more than 10 minutes per game last season.  This data may present some interesting points of discussion but they do not explain why Doc Rivers puts Davis in the game so often.  The only answer I can muster pretty much sums up my love/hate relationship with sports statistics.

Those statistics are one way to predict how well Davis will do this up-coming season, and perhaps the best way.  But there are also the numbers he put up in the Preseason.  As much as these numbers should be dismissed, they are the only numbers available at the moment.  Tomorrow, we’ll have more but at the moment, is there anything we can glean from Davis’ Preseason stats?Here are Glen Davis‘ numbers from the Preseason:

As you can see, they are far from the numbers he put up last year.  Time will tell whether or not Baby will be any better than he was last year but fans have to realize that for better or worse he is going to get playing time.   In that time, Davis will be taking a lot more midrange jump shots because his court time counter part Rasheed Wallace has been replaced by the O’Neal brothers (Shaquille and Jermaine).  He is also going to get offensive rebounds and get his subsequent putbacks blocked.

If Davis wants his production to contribute to Celtic victories he is going to have to do two things: 1) make a higher percentage of midrange jumpers; and 2) convert his offensive rebounds into points.

The Preseason numbers suggest Davis may just do that but the sample size is not big enough to determine anything even half conclusive.  If Davis does not improve in those two areas than he will become an inconsistent player that gets consistent playing time.  In other words, he will be the de facto Tony Allen of this 2010-2011 Celtic roster.  Since Allen signed with Memphis, the Celtics have not had a definitive player that drew so much adoration and fan frustration.  Davis may be poised to fill that void.

Or he will make the leap from bench player to legitimate sixth man.

Either way, be prepared to get hoarse or hairless.

  • zebulon

    The similarities between Tony and Baby on offense are striking – can't believe I never noticed that before. Well done. Both are players who show flashes of immense offensive skill and ability, but are inefficient because of their inability to string together those flashes of skill.

    Unfortunately, TA was miles ahead of Baby on the defensive end. TA was our best wing defender last year (and pierce is no slouch), while I would rate baby as our fourth best defensive big, ahead of only Shaq. And if you factor in defensive rebounding, maybe even after Shaq.

    Still, I'm expecting Baby to step up this year. If he can hold on to this impressive ability to draw fouls and become a serviceable defensive big, he could be a great help to our quest for banner 18. His energy and desire are already helpful for a team full of so many veterans who occasionally need a pick-me-up.

  • Johnny

    Good point about Baby's size. It is tough for him to guard many players in the NBA because of his height and speed limitations. But one thing that can be difficult to measure that he brings to the court is the extra effort, the hustle plays, the Tommy points. How much weight does that have though when it comes down to whether he will be efficient this year? I love Baby to death and, like you mentioned, he is capable of doing whatever Doc asks him to do.

    I think he's going to have a good year. With a little more depth in the big man category this year Baby will have more freedom than in the past. In particular I think his offensive rebounding is going to improve this year. The C's are taking rebounding more serious this year and those hustle plays are going to start paying off for Baby when he starts drawing fouls on bigs and converting offensive boards into points.

  • JP-

    Baby is best on defense when he is drawing charges like Leon Powe used to do. Leon wasn't very tall either, but if you play with energy and draw charges, you will be effective in this league.

  • koolaid

    I think Baby is a very solid backup PF. I agree that the numbers don't capture some of the things he brings every night.

    He's been feasting this preseason due to heavy minutes against bench players. He's fine against them, but just doesn't have the physical tools to excel against 1st units. He's never going to dominate at the rim so if he's going to improve his game, he has to stretch his jumper.

    My favorite Tommy quote of the preseason (after Baby got rejected, again):
    "If Baby was just a couple inches taller, he'd be an all-star every year"

  • Greg

    I agree with JP, Baby is more like Leon Powe than Tony Allen. However, Avery Bradley seems like he should be able to step into that annoying defender role Tony had. Add in Harangody as this year's Scal and JO as this years PJ Brown, we should the deepest bench in the league

  • John (in Lakersland)

    they're both Black? serious? TA and Dunkin' Donut? you're comparing one of the most underrated perimeter defender (see Kobe's stats in the Finals when TA guarded him) against a 6'7" guy who can barely dunk? Serious? TA has a natural jump shot. Kripsy Kreme can only shoot in the key and make the rare-occasioned jumper. TA can run sprints without the assistance of an O2 tank. Winchels needs an EMT to take him across the court.

    Yea, they're both Black, but there are more to people than just their race.

    • http://CelticsHub.com Brendan Jackson

      "If Davis does not improve in those two areas than he will become an inconsistent player that gets consistent playing time. In other words, he will be the de facto Tony Allen of this 2010-2011 Celtic roster."

      You can disagree, but at least disagree with a point I actually made, not ones you assumed.

      • John (in Lakersland)

        yea, but you're picking the one argument (jumpshooter) that I pointed out, which you used as a disclaimer in your article. It still remains that Fatty has nothing in common with TA. You're comparing apples to oranges. They serve completely different functions for a team. And yes, I know that Fatty's values aren't reflected in the Box Score. But really, what IS his value? He lost weight, but he's still out of shape (no work ethic, reminds you of a certain new player the Celts brought in?) Look at TA's body. The man's obviously a workout fiend. TA makes smart plays at a consistent level. Fatty will make a good play once in a while. But he's still a goofball. My biggest memory of him is still when he knocked over that kid Magics fan after hitting a jumper, running up the court like he's got his first B on his reportcard.

        If Davis has to be the Celts TA for this year, then all hope is lost as you have no lock down swing defender.

  • John (in Lakersland)

    @johnny. Yea right and Charles Barkley was 6'9" too. I think you misread what I posted. I like Tony Allen. I think he's completely undersold in the league. He has a decent jumper. He's a good lock down perimeter defender. He jumps through the roof. I would take him on my team any day as a backup SG or SF. As for the Michellin Man, the best thing I can say about him is that he was a good value 2nd RD pick…

  • Morpheus

    Yes,i think he doesn't get credit for it though.He was able to hold his position where Dwight couldn't really back him down or he was able to force Dwight further out from the low block,rendering him useless,as we all know Dwight is non existent outside 10 feet from the rim.Baby did an excellent job defending Dwight in the playoffs.

  • koolaid

    TA is 'smart' and has a 'natural jumpshot'. Man-o-man. U must be talking about Tiny Archibald, not Tony Allen?

  • John (in Lakersland)

    ok, Dunkin Donut had a really good game tonight… but he's still no TA.

    I understand the point you're trying to make and the spin you're trying to put on Davis' production and contribution. But I still don't buy it. He's such a hit or miss, as opposed to TA's day in and day out contribution. I'll take a good perimeter defender like TA, Battier, Matt Barnes over a Glen Davis any day. I just don't buy your sales pitch. Until Davis gets his fat to muscle ratio down, until I see a commitment on Davis to say I'm going to be a basketball player rather than a defensive tackle, I just won't buy him as a day to day player. TA's value to a championship caliber team: 7.5 (he can guard your best swingman everynight) —- Davis: 4 (he'll have 1-2 good games in a best of 7)

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