Monday, December 28, 2009
With Glen "Big Baby" Davis having returned to the Boston Celtics lineup, it's a good time to ask the question: Where does Big Baby fit in the rotation?
(Note: I know he wants to be called Glen Davis now, because he's maturing and growing blah blah blah...but anytime you break a thumb punching a buddy, especially a season after weeping uncontrollably on the bench after a tongue lashing from KG, you're still a Big Baby. I'm Sorry, Glen, it's not my fault the nickname fits. He's immature, maybe, but lovable.)
The Boston Celtics frontcourt has been collectively playing amazing ball during the recent win streak, and Rasheed Wallace and Shelden Williams have more than filled in during Davis' absence.
But it's hard to forget Big Baby's heroic performance last season after Garnett was lost for the season, culminating in this game winning shot in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Orlando Magic:
Before The Big Three was born in Boston, Doc Rivers was well-known as a coach who had trouble maintaining a consistent rotation; one night, Rajon Rondo would play 25 minutes, the next, only 10 minutes. Lineups were mixed, minutes were seemingly random, and the Celtics struggled finding the flow of the game.
However,the arrival of Garnett and Ray Allen was a blessing for Rivers: he had a veteran squad and lineup that was very hard to tinker with.
While I am impressed with Rivers' growth and improvement as a coach, I'm still slightly worried he'll be compelled to tinker with the frontcourt lineups, especially when Paul Pierce and Marquis Daniels return.
Despite Shelden Williams' consistent play, I think Big Baby is a better fit as the fourth big man on this particular Celtics team. Though Big Baby is not a terrific rebounder, he is a superior offensive rebounder and finisher than Williams, and a much better mid-range shooter.
Also, though neither Big Baby or Shelden Williams are great defenders, Big Baby is a better fit alongside Perkins or Wallace because he has the mobility to guard most power forwards, and has really improved at flopping... er, I mean taking charges.
If I were Doc Rivers, my 9-man rotation would include the usual starting five (Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett, Perkins) with Eddie House, Rasheed Wallace, Marquis Daniels (when healthy) and Glen Davis playing significant roles off the bench. Shelden Williams, Tony Allen, and Brian Scalabrine would contribute spot minutes and provide security, depending on the health of our other players, and the particular game matchups.
When Big Baby gets his body into game shape, I am confident he will be another big factor off our devastating bench. I just hope Doc Rivers figures out the new rotation quickly.