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Celtics notebook

Davis remains focused

He’s not concerned about new contract

Paul Pierce appears pained as he watches his 3-pointer clang off the rim. Pierce connected on just 2 of 10 field goals. Paul Pierce appears pained as he watches his 3-pointer clang off the rim. Pierce connected on just 2 of 10 field goals. (Ray Stubblebine/Reuters)
By Gary Washburn
Globe Staff / March 15, 2011

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NEWARK — Last summer, numerous players cashed in on their free agent status, beating the clock and receiving what are expected to be the last of the lucrative contracts available under the old collective bargaining agreement.

As of July 1, that system is expected to change, and the players may even be locked out. Celtics forward Glen Davis will be a free agent, thus he’s unsure of where he’ll end up next season or whether he will land a big contract.

Davis, who had 16 points and a career-high 14 rebounds in last night’s 88-79 loss to the Nets, played in his second game since a four-game absence because of a strained knee tendon. He has developed into Boston’s top reserve and is nearing the end of a two-year, $6 million deal. Under the current rules, Davis could have expected a deal perhaps double that, but now there is uncertainty.

“It’s a business and you always have to realize that,’’ he said. “The organization is always going to do what’s best for them and what’s best for the team. Whatever they feel is best for the team, that’s the decision they’re going to make. I just go out there and play. I can’t worry about the negotiation part, that’s why you have an agent.’’

The trade of Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder was a shock to the team, especially Davis. There has been speculation that the Celtics dealt Perkins, who also was coming up on free agency, because they didn’t want to sign him for the amount Perkins desired. Thus perhaps the trade was a sign that the Celtics have decided to pursue Davis in the offseason.

“You just want to play everything out,’’ Davis said about potentially leaving Boston. “But you have to understand the business part of it, so when it happens you’re not alarmed and you’re not shocked.

“I love playing for the Celtics. If it changes, it changes. Where you start out at, you always want to stay there. The Celtics gave me an opportunity to show my talents.’’

But nothing can happen until a new CBA is negotiated. And the sides are so far apart, many league insiders expect a lockout, leaving Davis in limbo.

“You can’t change it,’’ he said. “Hopefully it works out for the best. That’s how I approach it. At the end of the day, when you play basketball, it’s still going to be in the NBA.’’

Board work Nenad Krstic has grabbed 29 rebounds in the past two games, notching consecutive double-doubles for the first time since 2006 with the Nets.

Krstic did not arrive in Boston with the reputation as a volume rebounder. But his work on the boards has been perhaps the most surprising aspect of his contribution to the Celtics.

In eight games entering last night, Krstic had grabbed 7.8 rebounds per game, 3.4 more than he averaged in 47 games this season with the Thunder.

And of his 64 rebounds as a Celtic, 26 have been on offense.

“He’s better than advertised as far as I’m concerned,’’ coach Doc Rivers said. “When [Rajon] Rondo drives, or Paul [Pierce] drives, or Kevin [Garnett] has the post, the big is going to help so much Nenad said it’s amazing how many times he’s just left alone to get a rebound.

“He’s enjoying it, but he’s doing something about it, though. Other people have been in that position and haven’t gotten the rebound.’’

Krstic had 29 double-doubles in his first four NBA seasons, but he had just eight in 214 games before joining the Celtics.

Because Davis was playing so well in the second half and Krstic picked up his fourth foul with 6:43 left in the third quarter, Rivers sat him for the remainder of the game. He finished with 6 points and two rebounds, both lows as a Celtic.

West is a go Rivers said guard Delonte West will return to action tomorrow night against the Pacers after suffering no setback the past few days regarding his sprained right ankle . . . Troy Murphy entered in the second quarter to a chorus of boos. Murphy, a New Jersey native, played this season with the Nets before they dealt him to Golden State. He did not suit up for his final two months with the Nets, however . . . NBA Players Association director Billy Hunter was in attendance . . . When asked whether Kansas would win the NCAA Tournament, Pierce responded, “C’mon now!’’ “I should get that copyrighted,’’ he added . . . It was Davis’s fifth double-double of the season . . . The Nets’ last home win over the Celtics was April 16, 2006, at East Rutherford, N.J. . . . The Celtics are 0-5 when they score fewer than 80 points . . . The Celtics attempted their second-fewest number of free throws this season (8).

Gary Washburn can be reached at gwashburn@globe.com.

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