Delonte West likes to talk. He talks on the basketball court. He talks to reporters. He talks when no one is listening.
“As long as I can remember, I’ve always been the vocal guy,” said West. “I just like to talk out there. Being the point guard, what I wasn’t understanding in my first couple years is how vocal you have to be. You really have to demand out there where guys have to be.”
West led a furious Boston comeback against the San Antonio Spurs Monday night with 27 points and some intense pressure defense. West’s hustle and intensity rubbed off on a unit of Rajon Rondo, Allan Ray, Ryan Gomes, and Al Jefferson, and helped the Celtics trim a 21-point deficit to two.
West says he should have been more vocal all along.
“Doc has been telling me that for three years,” said West. “It’s taken me about a year-and-a-half to figure out exactly what he’s talking about. The veteran guys, they more understand the value of being in spots when we don’t have anything. With younger guys, we just want to get up and down and get the adrenaline pumping. That’s where I have to start to be a little more vocal and calm guys down and tell them we need to get a good shot.”
With Paul Pierce and Wally Szczerbiak out, the team needs West to be a leader. West said his leadership experience now will only help the team when those players return.
“Guys that were not getting as much playing time are getting this game-time experience,” he said. “They weren’t playing as aggressive or as confident as they are now. We were relying on Paul to win the game for us.”
“You can see the anticipation. Even though we don’t have our star players back, you can sense the anticipation for those guys to return. With the way we’re playing and you throw Paul Pierce in there giving you 30 (points) any given night, and Wally Szczerbiak giving you 20-plus every night, we’re right back. We still have time.”