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Celtics Notebook

No suspension for Davis

Ainge wants forward to remain with team

By Julian Benbow
Globe Staff / October 31, 2009

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Celtics president Danny Ainge announced yesterday that rather than suspend Glen Davis for an early-morning fight with a childhood friend Monday that left Davis with a broken right thumb, he would rather levy a fine and allow Davis to remain with the team while he recuperates.

Davis, who had apologized in a statement earlier in the week, yesterday sounded as if he was disappointed in his decision-making, holding himself accountable for his immaturity.

“This summer was a crucial summer for me just becoming a professional,’’ said Davis, who was fined an undisclosed amount. “When this happened it was tough thinking about all the hard work this summer. And it just made me realize how I’m not where I need to be. I’m not where I need to be as a professional, because professionals make the right decisions at crucial moments, and at that time I didn’t. So, I have a lot of work to do in order to be the player I need to be and also the man I need to be.’’

Davis broke his thumb in a fight with friend Shawn Bridgewater, who was visiting from Louisiana.

“I wish it would have never happened,’’ Davis said. “I wish I could have learned without making this huge mistake, but things happen for a reason. I’m just thankful that the organization and the fans and everybody with the Boston Celtics has welcomed me back with open arms.’’

Coach Doc Rivers, owner Wyc Grousbeck, and Ainge had expressed varying levels of disappointment and frustration with Davis throughout the week, and Davis said, “I felt every ounce of disappointment.’’

Ainge wanted to move forward.

“We want him around,’’ Ainge said. “We want him with the team on the road. We want him working out and conditioning with the team and continuing to learn everything that we’re doing right now to progress and move forward.

“This was an unfortunate incident. Glen has apologized to owners, teammates, coaches, fans, and everybody. And it’s time to move forward, put it behind us.’’

Surrounded by teammates, coaches, executives, and trainers as the Celtics took their team picture before last night’s game against the Bulls, Davis put his hand behind his back to hide his cast.

He laughed and chatted with teammates, later addressing the team. Upon greeting the injured Davis, Rivers joked, “I shook his left hand.’’

Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas, a childhood friend of Davis and former teammate at LSU, was also supportive.

“That’s like my brother, but that’s his business,’’ Thomas said. “He knows what he’s got to do. [Things] happen. It’s a little setback and we’re going to see how he responds when he’s ready to play.’’

Davis said he hoped to learn from the incident.

“Life is full of decisions,’’ Davis said. “And some decisions are [more] crucial than others. Any moment you can make the wrong decisions to alter your life. So what I told myself is I have to think about everything I do . . . and use this to build character and not something to destroy who Glen Davis really is.’’

Passing mark
Ray Allen’s 20 points gave him 19,715 for his career, moving him past John Stockton into 33d on the all-time list.

Allen was in Springfield last month when the former Jazz point guard (also the all-time leader in steals and assists) was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. And what struck him most about passing Stockton was the longevity.

“You think about all the years,’’ Allen said, “all the shots I’ve taken - not the ones in games but the shots I’ve taken in practice - it all seems worth it. It stands for something at the end of the day.’’

Bench pressing
In three games, the bench has pulled the Celtics back into a game, maintained a lead, and now extended a lead, displaying the potential that Rivers had been alluding to during the preseason.

“That’s our goal,’’ said Marquis Daniels. “We want to go out there and if not increase the lead then maintain it so that Coach can be confident in us.’’

Through three games, the Celtics’ bench has outscored its opponents’ reserves, 115-81, besting the Bulls, 59-42. Eddie House, who had 22 last night, said, “We’re playing our game, getting open shots, and taking them.’’

Minutes men
One of the residual benefits of the Celtics’ past two blowouts is the minutes for players at the end of the bench.

Lester Hudson and J.R. Giddens both saw fourth-quarter action with the game well in hand, and Kevin Garnett considers that time valuable. “They’re getting experience in real games against real NBA competition,’’ Garnett said.

Julian Benbow can be reached at jbenbow@globe.com.

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