Sheed or Baby for Game 2?
|04.19.10 at 5:21 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Now that Kevin Garnett has been suspended for Game 2, a decision that took no one by surprise within the Celtics organization, the immediate question becomes: who will start in his place?
The team tried to keep the decision under wraps, but there were indications that it will be Glen Davis rather than Rasheed Wallace. When the curtain rose on practice Monday afternoon, Davis was on the floor with the first team, while Wallace was in a white practice jersey worn by the second unit.
That may mean something, or it may not, but Rajon Rondo also said, “I think Baby’s starting.”
Maybe he didn’t get the memo. Doc Rivers, Wallace and Davis were all non-committal.
“I don’t know,” Davis said. “I have no idea. It’s either going to be the Ticket-Stub or it’s going to be Sheed.”
Wallace said he’s fine either way.
“It don’t matter as long as I’m in there in that fourth quarter,” Wallace said. “I don’t care if I start, I don’t care if I come off the bench. Like I said before, Doc’s the mad scientist. If he seems me starting, fine. If he doesn’t see me starting, fine.”
Ultimately the decision may have more to do with Miami’s personnel than with the Celtics. More specifically it may have more to do with second-year forward Michael Beasley who scored just six points on eight shots in Game 1.
“I’m sure they’ll go to Michael Beasley more,” Rivers said. “That’s an obvious adjustment without Kevin. When you take him off the floor usually the guy he was guarding will get the ball more if he’s an offensive player and Michael Beasley is a terrific offensive player.”
The second-year forward from Kansas State has a complete offensive game, even if he doesn’t show it all the time. He’s also younger, quicker and more athletic than anyone the Celtics have on their roster.
“I just got that wily veteran craftsmanship on him right now,” Wallace said.
Davis is obviously quicker than Wallace, which Rivers referenced.
“They’re both completely different players,” Rivers said. “Sheed gives us more size. He gives us a better post player and he spreads the floor. Baby gives you energy. Baby moves his feet a little better on the Beasley matchup. They’re just so completely different. That’s what makes the decision so difficult.”
The Celtics did play a game in January against the Heat without Garnett, which they won in overtime. Wallace started that game, as he did all season when Garnett was out and played well, scoring 16 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Davis played 20 minutes and scored one point.
But that was another lifetime ago. Asked if he remembered anything from that game, which included a spectacular end of the game play by Rondo that put it into overtime, Rondo thought for a minute and said that he didn’t and it seemed like an honest reaction.
“Rasheed was terrific in that game,” Rivers said. “It gives us a little bit of confidence. This is a whole different game obviously.”
For his part Wallace acknowledged that games like this were part of the reason why the Celtics wanted him in the offseason.
“It’s a lot on me,” he said. “I’m not going to step outside my game. It’s cool. I knew that’s what I’m here for. I knew that would be part of the job when I signed. I’m not worried about it.”