They’re charged up about Davis’s contributions
WALTHAM — Glen Davis is fourth on the Celtics in scoring (11.3 points per game) and rebounding (4.8), but some of his biggest contributions have not been quantified.
“Out of 10 games, he’s played roughly 8 1/2 great ones,’’ said coach Doc Rivers. “He stays within himself, he doesn’t try to force it, he lets it come to him on both ends. His defensive awareness has been unbelievable.
“I think he has 16 charges — that’s just amazing from any player, especially a forward. A charge is just like a blocked shot to us; every time you take a charge, it means the guy doesn’t want to drive the next time.’’
Davis is expected to be used in the center position with the first unit while Jermaine O’Neal (knee) is out. Marquis Daniels (family issue) also will miss tonight’s game against Washington, according to Rivers.
“First of all, I just try to be a team defender,’’ Davis said. “That’s one of the main concepts of taking charges — you’re a good help defender.
“If I play a lot of minutes, I can help the team. I’m young and I can do some things and I’m doing whatever is needed for the team. I just do my thing.
“When I’m out there with the first team, I don’t try to do as much, I just try to hit the open shot, make the simple pass, get loose balls, try to make a difference.’’
Ray Allen suggested that Davis’s defensive contributions be officially tabulated.
“I do believe we need to start adding the charge to the stat sheet, because it’s like he’s getting two or three charges a game,’’ Allen said. “He’s always in great position, so you know he’s always going to have your back.
“He’s a great weak-side defender, and that’s something, if you have that on the stat sheet, you’ll see guys that have an effect on the game. A charge is giving up your body and sacrificing for the team.’’
Said Paul Pierce, “He’s been phenomenal. He’s been getting better every year he’s been in the league. He’s made a commitment to a diet, to being in shape and it’s made him a better player.’’
Trap game? Pierce said the Celtics should be wary of the Wizards, though the status of guard John Wall (foot) is undetermined. “Teams like this are scary,’’ Pierce said. “These are teams we had problems with a year ago — lot of talent, guys trying to prove themselves, make a name for themselves. “These are games, these guys look at these as the type of games that can make their year or turn their year around. So we’ve really got to be mentally and physically prepared for a team to give their best performance.’’ . . . Rivers compared Wall, the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, to former NBA guard Rickey Green. “I saw him a bunch at Kentucky because of my son playing for Indiana,’’ Rivers said. “I saw him this summer play against my younger son. He’s fantastic. Rickey Green — he reminds me of that speed, end to end, we haven’t seen that before. Quickness, a lot of guards are as quick. But from one end of the floor to the other with the live dribble, I don’t think we’ve seen that before. It’s pretty fantastic to watch, scary to prepare for. You’ve got to have great focus defensively or they’ll throw 110 or 120 on you in a heartbeat.’’
Game day for West Delonte West will make his season debut tonight after a 10-game suspension. He is expected to relieve Allen and also fill Daniels’s role in reserve. “Of course I’d like to be on the floor, but when I’m on the bench, that means somebody’s out there playing well and the game is pretty controllable,’’ Allen said. “With Delonte out there, he’s going to give the other team fits, as well, so I’m looking forward to seeing him out there.’’ . . . Allen on the Celtics’ defense during a 3-1 road trip: “There’s still things we have to work on — defense down the stretch, getting stops when we need to, because there’s times when we didn’t, even in the Dallas loss. Defensively, that’s where we hang our hats.’’ Said Rivers: “We went on that trip, we were going to go nine days with one practice. The slippage in that, it kills you. It usually hurts your offense, but we got better offensively as the trip went on. But it absolutely hurt our defense.’’
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.