After last night’s game, I received a text message from Brian Robb that read: That was pretty. Unfortunately, I did not know how to read it. Was he referring to the first quarter where the Celtics found themselves on the wrong side of a nine point score differential? Or was he referring to the third quarter domination in which Paul Pierce invited the Cavaliers to his block party?
The answer, of course is neither. What kind of setup would it be if it were one of those options? A quick look at the box score should tell you exactly what Brian was referring to:
Glen Davis had a monster game yet I had no idea until I looked at the box score. Two years of Zach Lowe’s pessimism and the numerous Baby-haters on the Interwebs have made me weary of anything Glen Davis does. Instead of seeing his 11 defensive rebounds, I noticed he was not hitting the offensive glass as hard as he should have been. Instead of seeing the seven shots he made, I honed in on this dreadful long-two attempt:
With seven seconds left on the shot clock, Glen Davis completely bricks a wide open jumper. I should have noted that Davis put this up in rhythm and was probably the best chance for the Cs to get a bucket in this particular possession. Instead, I remember screaming at my TeeVee. Despite Davis finishing the night with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, I chose to remember that brick.
I also remembered this little offense to defense exchange that came in the tale end of the third quarter. Glen Davis looked gassed on these back-to-back mental lapses. To be fair, Baby had just played nearly four straight minutes of basketball:
On the offensive end, it’s pretty clear that as Kevin Garnett catches the ball he is expecting Baby to be ready to crash the glass. Instead, Davis is assuming his position at the top of the key in case Garnett wants to play a little high-low. This is ultimately forgivable. If Shaq were in this situation, the impending drop-step dunk is obvious.
The very next play for the Cavaliers showcases some pretty inexcusable defense by Baby. Davis gets caught in no-mans land as he helps Ray Allen guard a driving Jamario Moon. Davis does not cut off baseline and he does not stay home and guard Anderson Varejao (you know, the guy that was killing the Cs on the glass all night). The only thing he is doing is protecting against the off chance Moon spins middle- which has zero chance of happening. A bad break for Davis most-likely due in part to both Ray Allen’s late recovery and the Cs getting caught out of position in transition.
With these plays and the first quarter in my head, I really did not know what was so “pretty”. Then I went back to the tape. You want to see pretty? This is pretty:
Here is a great spin move on the low block by Glen Davis. Three things immediately stand out: 1) Davis finishes on an up and under (albeit pretty ugly); 2) Davis spins on Antawn Jamison, not a slouch by any means; 3) Davis is not shooting a long-two.
It gets better in the final minute of the game where Davis abuses Jawad Williams:
Okay so it’s Jawad Williams. It also happens to be the final minute of a blowout game. Still, the fact that a man the size of Big Baby can move like that is worth noting. This second spin move shows that he can be isolated on the low block and not have to shoot a turn-around fade-away jumper. Davis has also shown to be a fairly adept passer in the lane. Two go-to moves and a willingness to pass? This could be the start of something really cool. Or he could go back to doing the easy stuff– by that I mean jacking long-twos (see slower replay of the spin move here).
Despite the aforementioned plays of Baby-boneheadedness, Davis was on the positive end of the game’s loudest defensive play. See here:
If you don’t believe what you just saw and you want to watch a slower replay, click here.
Okay, now that you have seen that this is actually Glen “Big Baby” Davis blocking Ramon Sessions feel free to offer your suggestions on how this was possible. The NBA: Where Glen Davis can be a shot blocker.
All of these plays, good and bad, were contained in just one game. Last night, I saw the Glen Davis who gets caught napping and bricks long twos and Brian saw the dude that was a +19 (I’m sure Hayes saw that too). So all of this begs the question: Is Glen Davis the most polarizing player on the Celtics?
I would say “absolutely.” Davis is loved for being a goofball and being effective when executing the game plan. He is also hated for making poor decisions on the court, taking long twos, and breaking his thumb on his friend’s face.
It has also been noted in plenty of media that Davis is a statistical abyss. To no one’s surprise, I am A) a Glen Davis fan, and B) I hate stats. Still, I recognize the value in both.
Now Celtics fans are left to wonder, “which Big Baby are we getting tonight, the guy who jacks long-twos or the guy that uses spin-moves?” With my spoken word written down, I’ll leave it to you all to answer my rhetorical question.