Finley just making ‘the most of it’
|03.15.10 at 11:26 pm ET|
When Danny Ainge decided to sign Michael Finley after the 37-year-old had been released by the San Antonio Spurs last week, Monday night was the kind of game the Celtics’ general manager had in mind.
Finley came off the bench and scored 15 points, matching Paul Pierce and Ray Allen for the team lead in Boston’s 119-93 demolition of Detroit at TD Garden.
Most impressive was how smooth Finley made it look. He missed just once in seven field goal attempts, making the most of his 13-plus minutes off the bench.
“I work out,” Finley said. “I try to work out every day where I have confidence in my game. Whenever my number is called, I just want to be prepared. Tonight was just an example of that. My teammates just got me in good positions to make plays and I just made the most of it.
“I’m still trying to find my way in. This team was a good one before I got here. I just want to come in and help them be a better team. If that’s possible, I’m all for it.”
On Sunday in Cleveland, the bench struggled mightily, with Glen Davis and Marquis Daniels held scoreless. On Monday, thanks to the early fire shown by Finley, the bench exploded for 61 points, including 13 for Davis and 11 for Daniels.
“It’s always good to win, especially coming off the performance we had in Cleveland,” Finley said. “It always good to get that winning taste back in your mouth and show each other what it takes to win ball games, despite the opponent.”
Celtics coach Doc Rivers has been pleasantly surprised by the boost Finley has provided to the likes of Rasheed Wallace, Marquis Daniels and Glen Davis.
“Yeah, because I didn’t know what to expect, honestly,” Rivers said. “You know he hadn’t played a lot this year with San Antonio and he wasn’t making shots. I just don’t believe a guy can forget how to shoot. So we thought if we could get him in here and get him some looks, you know give him a chance to make some shots, they would go in. But, yeah, even his passing, just little things he does on the floor, he’s been great.”
Wallace had a simple message for Finley on Monday – keep it simple and I’ll find you on the court.
“I’ve seen it in college when he was at Wisconsin, and you know for the few teams he played with here in the league, I know what type of player Fin is,” ‘Sheed said. “That’s one thing I told him when he first came here, when were out there in that second unit, I’m going to swing you the ball, just basic basketball. I’m going to come over set the pick, you can either come off for the shot, drop it off, or just play basketball and make that next pass.”
More to the point, Finley, if he continues to play like he did Monday night, makes the Celtics’ bench that much more difficult to match up against come playoff time.
“It gives us another guy where you have to step up,” Wallace said. “And I say that from an offensive standpoint, you know guys will have to respect Fin’s jump shot and driving ability, and that pretty much leaves all the post players open for a one on one.”
“He’s a veteran,” added Daniels. “He’s a shooter. That’s something he does, it’s like riding a bike. He knows how to shoot the ball and he does it well.”
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