Taking Baby steps in Orlando
January, 5, 2012
By Greg Payne | ESPNBoston.com
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Brandon Bass has enjoyed a practically flawless transition from the Orlando Magic to the Boston Celtics, taking on a crucial bench role, and playing so well that Paul Pierce has already nominated him as a candidate for Sixth Man of the Year. But the man Bass was (signed and) traded for -- Glen Davis -- hasn't enjoyed the same smooth assimilation down in Florida.
Through seven games, Davis is averaging only 6.9 points per game on 33.3 percent shooting, and, according to The Orlando Sentinel, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy addressed the improvements he would like to see Davis make following a 2-of-10 shooting, 4-point performance in Orlando's 103-85 thrashing of the Wizards on Wednesday.
"He's not playing well, and I'm not sure his mind's on the right things right now," Van Gundy said. "What we need him to do is defend, which he has done pretty well, rebound better than he's rebounding and move the ball and set screens."
When informed of Van Gundy's comments, Bass briefly weighed in on old-friend Davis' situation.
"He's not picking up the defense quick? Wow," Bass said. "You know, I haven't talked to him of late, but I mean, Glen knows the situation. He's been in worse situations than that, so I feel like he'll be able to overcome it sooner than later."
C's coach Doc Rivers, who coached Davis for his first four NBA seasons, stressed the need to keep the forward motivated at all times.
"Well, you gotta keep pushing him, and finding Baby’s buttons," said Rivers. "And Stan will; Stan’s an excellent coach. It’s frustrating at times. But the one thing that Stan knows -- and I know -- that Baby is not a bad kid. He’ll find it. It’s just, then you gotta find it again. And then again. And that’s just who Baby is. At the end of the day, that’s who Baby is."