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For Baby, a far cry from best

Davis off to free agency after lackluster playoffs

By Monique Walker
Globe Staff / May 12, 2011

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MIAMI — Glen Davis arrived as a rookie in Boston in 2007, bringing a youthful charisma and the nickname “Big Baby.’’

In four years, the emotional, 6-foot-9-inch forward/center has become a high-energy sixth man, who has entertained with his quirky personality and has developed a reputation as a playoff spark.

Now Davis may be looking for another team. The 25-year-old becomes a free agent this offseason and while he said after last night’s 97-87 loss to the Heat in Miami’s series-clinching victory he would like to continue his career with the Celtics, he doesn’t know if that will become a reality.

“I love Boston,’’ Davis said. “Boston’s where I started and I plan on wishing I can stay. But you never know. It’s like [Kendrick Perkins’s] situation. He’s been there eight years and he wanted to stay. But it just might not work my way. It’s just how it is. I’m just not going to watch TV for a while. Play with my daughter and be around my family and just let things take its course.’’

For the first time in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Davis seemed to be on the verge of breaking out of his playoff slump last night. The only problem was it was the last game of the season for the Celtics. Davis scored 6 points and grabbed two rebounds in 16:16 of play.

While the statistics were slightly better for Davis last night, his contributions were the lowest among his teammates off the bench. Even Nenad Krstic, who played his most minutes (15:36) of the series as a result of Shaquille O’Neal being out, scored 8 points (3 of 3 from the field) and added two rebounds.

“I feel like I kind of showed up tonight and it was my first time really doing something,’’ Davis said. “But you still got to play through it. The Heat played their best at the right time.’’

Davis averaged 4.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in nine playoff games, which were both career postseason lows. The numbers were a disappointment for Davis, who has made some of his biggest contributions with the Celtics in the postseason. In the Finals last season, Davis and former Celtics guard Nate Robinson had fun with the media after they provided a boost off the bench in Game 4 against the Lakers. They compared their partnership to Shrek and Donkey.

But this postseason didn’t provide the same feelings for Davis. His playoff slump left him so frustrated that after Game 4 of this series he said he didn’t know who he was on the court. Davis said he doesn’t think his postseason performance should have an affect on his free agency.

“You can’t just base it on this playoffs,’’ he said. “My whole body of work I feel like I can play in this league and I can start in this league. From my second year when [Kevin Garnett] went down to my third year playing in the playoffs and this year was my best year. I just didn’t play well in the playoffs this year. I didn’t get a good rhythm. Some things happen like that, so I don’t think the playoffs is going to hurt me as much.’’

When asked what he wants for his NBA future, Davis said he believes he is ready to be a starter.

“I feel like I’ve got a lot more to offer,’’ he said. “I want to show the world my talents, if it’s here in Boston or wherever.’’

Another season with the Celtics would mean another year with coach Doc Rivers, if he decides to return. When asked if he would like to play for Rivers again, Davis said, “Uh, yeah. I would love to play for Doc. We’ll just have to see how it all works out.’’

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

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