When his name was announced in the starting lineup for the first time as an NBA player last night, Glen Davis was more nervous than even one would expect a rookie to be. But by the way "Big Baby" played in a 90-78 victory over the Sacramento Kings at TD Banknorth Garden, it was hard to view him as a rookie.
Davis had a season-high 16 points and added nine rebounds. The 6-foot-9-inch, 289-pounder also made 10 of 10 free throws and shot 3 of 6 from the field in 27 minutes. The second-round pick from Louisiana State started in place of injured center Kendrick Perkins (toe).
"It was unbelievable," said Davis, who had 10 points and six rebounds in the third quarter.
"It was a dream come true to start in the NBA. Unbelievable. I was thinking in my head, 'Calm down, big fella. Calm down.' I couldn't breathe. I had to come back and play my game. It was awesome."
Said coach Doc Rivers: "I told him to breathe. And he didn't. He didn't listen. But that's fine. He's young and he was excited to start."
Backup center Scot Pollard (back) also missed the game. Both he and Perkins are day to day. Perkins, who is averaging 7.3 points and 4.8 rebounds, was unable to run yesterday during shootaround in Waltham. After the game, he said he felt fine, and that he hopes to play tomorrow night against Milwaukee.
"Perkins explained it to [trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] and then they explained it to me," Rivers said. "I didn't have a lot to say about it. There were too many punch lines. So I left him all alone on this one. He was embarrassed by it. Stuff happens."
Pollard said he injured his back while getting out of his car Tuesday at a
Pollard said he had serious back problems while playing for the Kings (1999-2003). He said he overcame the issues while playing for the Pacers (2003-06) and didn't have any back problems with the Cavaliers last season.
"The timing is not good," Pollard said. "It happened when I got out of my car. I've had it happen before, just not in a long time."
Must be the shoesWhen Rivers was a high school basketball player in Chicago, he said a member of the Bulls gave him several pairs of shoes that were his size - 13. That Bulls player was Kings first-year coach Reggie Theus, who played for the Bulls from 1978-84 while Rivers starred at Proviso East High in Maywood from 1976-80. Theus, however, said he gave Rivers the shoes when he was playing for Marquette University.
"I knew [Theus] pretty well," Rivers said. "I used to just go up to the arena. I loved him. He was a big guard, and I never was going to be anything like him. He was a great passer, good scorer, he saw the floor. He was flashy. He caught all the young guys' attention.
"I got to meet him. Then from there he would give me his shoes. I wore the same size when I was a senior in high school. I didn't put them away. I didn't ask him to sign them. I asked him for the shoes."
Said Theus: "Doc still owes me about 10 pairs of tennis shoes."