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Celtics notebook

Davis is at a loss for an explanation

By Monique Walker
Globe Staff / May 11, 2011

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MIAMI — There is no motivation for a player like entering the last year of his contract. The season is like a public job interview to persuade teams to make an offer.

Glen Davis is in that process, and he had a strong regular season that included being the Celtics’ fourth-leading scorer (11.6 points per game). His energy off the bench landed him among a batch of players considered for the league’s Sixth Man Award.

Then the postseason arrived. All of the things that made Davis a valuable part of the Celtics second unit have disappeared. Davis hasn’t scored more than 6 points or collected more than four rebounds in any game of the Eastern Conference semifinals. In Monday’s 98-90 overtime loss to the Heat, Davis had 4 points and zero rebounds in 17 minutes.

A frustrated Davis acknowledged that he doesn’t know what is happening.

“I’ve been nowhere to be found throughout this whole playoffs,’’ he said. “I need to find myself.’’

The Celtics are running out of time and Davis may be running out of options. Game 5 is tonight, and a loss means the season is over. Davis would enter free agency on the heels of a poor postseason.

Davis, in his fourth year, had some of the best numbers of his career in the regular season. Yet his many of his playoff numbers are at a career low, including his 4.8 points and 3.8 rebounds through eight games. Before Game 4, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Davis needed to give the Celtics more defensively, but Davis seems baffled at how to escape his rut.

After Monday’s loss, Davis looked frustrated and said the only answer is for him to work on everything.

“Hit some shots, rebound, take some charges,’’ Davis said. “I have to find Glen, and I don’t know where Glen is at. I have no idea who is playing right now.’’

Part of the answer may come with sticking to his routine, Davis said.

“Preparation, working on my craft, and getting back to believing in my game,’’ he said. “When you get a couple of games when you’re not playing well, you just got to keep going and continue to believe in doing what you do. You just have to go out there and do it. I just can’t find it.’’

West a bright spot In between the lack of execution and the turnovers Monday, the Celtics had positive moments from Delonte West. The guard played 30 minutes and was 4 of 7 from the field with 10 points.

West came in to provide defense in spurts and came up with a crucial 3-pointer with three minutes to go in regulation that tied the game at 81. He did it all with a sore shoulder, bruised in Game 3.

After an active Game 4, West said his shoulder was “feeling a lot better’’ but for the moments when he didn’t think he played his best, “I got no excuses.’’

West averaged 18.9 minutes a game during an injury-marred regular season, but his opportunities have increased in the postseason.

With the uncertainty surrounding Rajon Rondo’s ability to play with a dislocated elbow, West is another option. While West has had his share of injuries this season, his return has provided a satisfactory complement for Rondo.

“He’s been a great X-factor,’’ Paul Pierce said. “You throw him in there to back up Rondo, or guard [Dwyane Wade], he’s been great for us. He’s just got to keep playing hard like he’s been doing.’’

Touch down The Celtics arrived here yesterday afternoon and gathered for a film session . . . If the Celtics win tonight, Rivers will be tied with Tom Heinsohn for the third-most playoff coaching wins (47) in franchise history . . . The Celtics were 0 for 2 on second-chance points in Game 4. It was the first time during the playoffs they were scoreless in the category.

Monique Walker can be reached at mwalker@globe.com.

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