Celtics Blog

Davis, Blair cut from same cloth

The similarities between San Antonio’s DeJuan Blair and Boston’s Glen Davis are pretty obvious. Both are undersized — in Blair’s case he’s a 6-foot-7-inch center. Both make up for a lack of height with wide-bodied strength. And both were overlooked by every team in the first round of their respective NBA drafts.

Blair was taken with the seventh pick of the second round in 2009, and Davis was selected with the fifth pick of the second round in 2007. Both players have carved out NBA careers that have far exceeded their draft numbers.

“They’ve done it with talent, with IQ,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “Both of them play extremely hard for the most part. And with their skill set. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they’re both very skilled.

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“What [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] told Blair is the same thing we told Baby. The draft is just a one-day number. The rest of your career is what you make of it.”

Rivers said he pushed Danny Ainge to draft Davis more than he’s pushed AInge for any other pick. He said he knows the feeling of being overlooked.

“It happens all the time,” said Rivers. “I was [the 31st pick]. I remember that. I remember all the guards that went in front of me. They all suck.”

He was half kidding about the last part.

  • Rivers said he wasn’t surprised that Popovich removed his starters with more than three minutes remaining in a 10-point game against the Knicks last night.

    “Sometimes as a coach you just look at your team and say we’re not winning this game,” said Rivers. “I take guys out early before, too. Not as a group…If anybody knows this group it’s Pop. He’s been with them the longest. I always laugh when people say that 3 1/2 minutes is not a big deal of rest. That’s actually a lot of rest.”

    Rivers expects the Spurs, who have lost five games all season, to react well tonight.

    “They’re winners,” said Rivers. “So they lost last night. They’re going to react in a way that they want to win tonight.”

    Before tonight’s game, Popovich explained that his strategy against the Knicks might not have been great.

    “I’m on them every game,” Popovich said of his players. “Last night I just let them go and deal with their own devices. It didn’t work out real well. Perhaps I’ll need to be a little more demonstrative.”

    After having won 29 of their first 33 games, it would be a huge turn of events for the Spurs to lose their second straight. Popvich said expectations have been thrown out of whack by his team’s start.

    “We had a good run in the beginning and that worries me,” he said. “Is that what we could do? Or our age and our focus as such that that’s what we did? Great. Congratulate ourselves on a good start, and things will come back to center and we’re going to win 50 games, 48 games. We’ll see.”

  • Rivers said nothing has changed with Kevin Garnett’s injury timetable.

    “I know he’s shooting now, so that’s good,” said Rivers. “What was the time frame we gave you? Two weeks? I don’t even know when that is. Is it next Wednesday? So hopefully he’s back in two weeks.”

    Rivers said Garnett is working out and doing some running with strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo.

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