At the end of the season Glen “Big Baby” Davis expressed a desire that he wanted an increase role as a basketball player. Which in his case, means a starting role. Big Baby is not going to find that in Boston, at least not this year. Glen did have a break out season, posting career highs in nearly all categories averaging 12 ppg and 5 rpg, while playing 29.5 mpg. His performance had him place 4th in the Sixth Man of the Year running and he is known as one of the elite bench players in the league. He was in the running for this award because of his ability to knock down the uncontested jump shot by spreading the floor, getting offensive rebounds leading to garbage points (an area where the Celtics GREATLY lack), and sacrificing his body for charges, a category where he nearly led the league. All in all, Big Baby was a spark plug off the bench every night and gave the Celtics quality minutes. His increased role was partly because of Kendrick Perkins’ injury at the beginning of the year and the O’Neal’s inconsistency. Apart from Garnett, Big Baby was the only consistent big man the Celtics had for the entire season. Now with all that said, what happened to him during the playoffs?
He was a shell of himself through the entire playoffs, all 2 rounds of it. He did absolutely nothing of the things that made him great during the regular season. He averaged a measly 4.9 ppg and 3.6 rpg while playing 21 mpg. His greatest play, in my opinion, was game 5 in Miami when the shot clock was winding down and he split two defenders on the left elbow, and threw up a one handed jump shot that banked in as time expired. A whistle blew and I jumped out of my seat because I thought it was an and-one, unfortunately, it was a very questionable travel. Apart from that play, there really wasn’t much to talk about other than how bad he was performing. Doc maintained that it was ”between the ears” and that Baby would have to figure it out. Big Baby didn’t even know what was going on, he continuously stated, “I’ve been nowhere to be found this whole playoffs. I need to find myself … I need to find Glen.” All in all, the Big Baby of the regular season was not present during the postseason and who knows? If he was, maybe we’d be playing against the Bulls or we at least wouldn’t have endured a quick 5 game exit.
So is it time for the Baby to leave the crib? He was paid $3 million this past season and is an unrestricted free agent. After that miserable playoff performance he doesn’t have much negotiating power and it’ll be very interesting to see what Ainge does with him. Lets contemplate the pros and cons of trading Big Baby or putting him up for adoption.
Big Baby is a good player, one of the better bench players in the league. His availability will most likely draw a pretty large crowd which could wind up being a good deal for Boston. Big Baby is our spark plug off the bench, however, he is a unique spark plug if one judges by the other 6th men in the league. He is listed at 6′ 9″ 289lbs, but I’ve seen him in person, and he’s more like a 6′ 6″ 300lbs. Boston needs an athletic swing man to be the star off the bench, like a Jason Terry, Jamaal Crawford, or Lamar Odom, etc. If we can get a swing man, without sacrificing too much size, we should pull the trigger. We do have someone though, *cough cough* Jeff Green, who is supposed to be helping fill that void. Nevertheless, the Celtics need a guy that can create his own shot with ease, and when Big Baby attempts to do that, I cringe every time.
Glen Davis can be somewhat of a distraction. His production is good but Celtic fans need to put their love for Glen into perspective. Do we love his production? Or do we love the fact that we have Big Baby Davis on our team? He is an entertaining guy who brings quite a few laughs. His relationship with the fans somewhat reminds me of our relationship with Nate Robinson. Everyone loved having Nasty Nate on our team, but we were in love with who he was, not his production. I’m not saying he doesn’t produce, because he does. I’m just saying we shouldn’t let our love for Big Baby influence our opinion for what he produces on the basketball court, making him seem better than he actually is.
A last pro is Davis’ maturity level. He’s been in the league for 4 years now and really hasn’t mentally matured all that much. Baby needs to grow up. He’s made some strides but hasn’t really gotten there yet. He’s gotten his game to the next level, but he needs to get there mentally too. No more mental break downs like this year in the playoffs. For a veteran team like the Celtics, there is no room for excessive mental error.
The Celtics HAVE a good bench player who can come off the bench and give quality minutes. There are a lot of NBA teams that don’t have that. Baby was consistent for most of the year and really played his heart out. I admired how he sacrificed his body taking charges multiple times a game. We have a bench player in Baby, and we shouldn’t be too quick to move him unless it’s a great opportunity for Boston. And again, his performance in the playoffs lost him his negotiating power, so we won’t have to spend too much on him. Davis still hasn’t reached his potential, and we should hold on to him until he does.
Another con is familiarity. Big Baby has been apart of the whole Big 3 era and is very close to the team and fans. Familiarity was our greatest advantage over the other elite NBA teams but that was lost when Ainge traded Perk. Ainge became the first executive to blow up a championship team 3/4 the way through a season. But that discussion is for another article. Nevertheless, Big Baby is very familiar with the team and is definitely apart of what they’re trying to get accomplished, which is banner 18. Big Baby was there at the beginning of the Big 3 era and should be there for the last run.
The last con to trading Big Baby somewhat contradicts one of the points to trade him away. He really does ease the tension on a very tense team. Celtics nation does love Big Baby and everybody wants to see him succeed. His comments and quotes on media days and his overall antics from missing wide open dunks to openly slobbering on national television, Glen Davis truly is a Big Baby. Although he HAS to mature for next season, Boston fans will always appreciate Davis’ antics, in small doses of course. Davis is like the class clown, and when the class clown gets kicked out of class, the continuity and joy in the class just isn’t the same.
In my personal opinion, I see no need to push for a trade for Big Baby. I do suggest we put him on the market to see what offers are made, but if the offer does not make Boston a lot better, there is no need. What the Celtics need is youth and athleticism. Baby has the youth but it’d be a lie if I were to say he was athletic by any means. This off season Davis needs to shed some pounds, work on his athleticism, and become more mentally tough. Davis expressed that he wants a more defined and increased role, and with the aging Celtics he will most definitely get that. The bottom line is that Big Baby has produced for the Celtics, and even though he screwed up in the playoffs this year, we shouldn’t hold that against him by giving him away. He deserves another shot. Lets not forget, Baby was the one who stepped up in the 2008-2009 playoffs in place of KG and averaged 16 ppg and 5.6 rpg in roughly 35 mpg, if we had that Baby this year in the playoffs, things would’ve undoubtedly turned out different.