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Celtics Notebook

It sounds like Davis has plan

By Amalie Benjamin
Globe Staff / April 17, 2011

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WALTHAM — It wasn’t the first time Glen Davis has made a bold statement. Back in January, Davis told a reporter it was “easy to guard’’ Orlando’s Dwight Howard. And apparently Howard isn’t the only star in the NBA that Davis doesn’t think provides a challenge.

Asked yesterday about guarding the Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire, Davis said, “It’s really not that hard. I don’t know why. I’ve been tripping, because I give him too much credit. I’ve just got to play the way he plays. Make him react to me, not me react to him. Because it’s too late, he gets one step on you, he’s too strong, he’s too quick, you’re going to foul him. You’ve just got to make him play into your game.’’

Since this is the postseason, Davis said, players have more time to focus on their defensive matchups. Kevin Garnett will see a lot of Stoudemire as well, and he was more complimentary toward the Knicks’ big man, who averaged 25.3 points and 8.2 rebounds this season, than Davis.

“What makes Amar’e so good is that he’s explosive,’’ Garnett said. “He’s very aggressive. He can score in a lot of different ways. They run a lot of different sets for him. Every time he has the ball, he is what we call ‘live’ and he’s a force to be reckoned with. He’s had a phenomenal year. The matchup’s going to be a difficult one.’’

It’s a key matchup, too, with Shaquille O’Neal (right calf) out for at least the first game. The Celtics will need a strong effort from Davis, who has had some of his biggest games in the playoffs.

“It’s the atmosphere, the atmosphere is unbelievable,’’ Davis said. “Just playing in the playoffs, it’s just a different feeling. It’s what you want to be in. I love the playoffs.’’

Spot duty Doc Rivers wasn’t interested in revealing much about the active roster for tonight’s game. A few spots remain up for grabs.

“We’ll decide tomorrow or whenever we have to,’’ Rivers said. “I’d rather have the spot filled [by O’Neal]. It would have been a bigger deal with the list if Delonte [West] had not have been healthy. But he’s healthy, so I don’t think the list is going to be that big of a deal.’’

In addition to O’Neal, rookie guard Avery Bradley should be on the inactive list. Guard Von Wafer is likely to fill one spot. The other will probably go to one of two forwards, Troy Murphy and Sasha Pavlovic.

Final tuneup The Celtics wrapped up preparations with a practice. “Typically these are the worst days to practice because coaches want to do a lot and players want to do very little on the day before a playoff game,’’ Rivers said. “They’re trying to do whatever they can to not run into each other and get ready for a game. Their focus is usually moved on. So it was that type of practice, and it was pretty much anticipated.

“I don’t think we ever think we got everything done. We got enough done, and we’ll be ready.’’

Amalie Benjamin can be reached at abenjamin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmalieBenjamin.

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