Glen Davis made his first career NBA start tonight. Before the game, coach Doc Rivers offered him simple advice and told him to breathe.
Big Baby didnít listen.
ďI thought he was going to die after the first six minutes of the game,Ē Rivers joked afterwards. ďI told him to breathe, and he didnít. He didnít listen. But thatís fine. Heís young, and he was excited to start and itís nice. Itís kind of refreshing to see a guy that excited that he almost passes out running Ö In the second half he was terrific.Ē
Davis finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds in 26 minutes. He had 8 points and 6 rebounds in an instrumental third-quarter run to help the Celtics reclaim the lead. His teammates noticed his impact.
ďBaby was huge tonight,Ē said Kevin Garnett. ďHe kept a lot of balls alive. He makes youthful mistakes but theyíre very aggressive mistakes. He communicated, he was loud.Ē
Davisís emergence isnít an accident. The kid has been working.
ďHeís coming into his own a little but, but itís because heís busting his [butt],Ē said Garnett. ďHeís playing really hard, heís playing really well in practice. Iíve always told him that if youíre going to be good, youíve got to have a practice and work ethic. Thatís where a lot of things start. I think heís building that foundation now, so itís good to see him playing well.Ē
Davis often appears on the Jumbotron during home games, urging Celtics fans to cheer the team on. His antics have made him a crowd favorite.
ďI think itís his personality,Ē said Paul Pierce. ďKevin has done a good job taking him under his wing, especially in Rome pulling him aside and talking to him on and off the court. If youíre going to have somebody to look after, or a role model to model yourself after, why not the best power forward in the game?Ē
Davis credits Garnettís mentoring for helping him adapt so quickly to the NBA.
ďJust being around [Garnett] has helped me tremendously,Ē said Davis. ďJust from the way that he walks or he talks. You adapt to him. You gravitate to him.
ďItís really rare. Itís a blessing. I think about it. I promise you I think about it. I think about [Garnett], Ray, Paul, my team situation Iím in and just what Iíve been through and where Iím at now. Itís a blessing and I appreciate everything.Ē