|Williams happy to see Duke return to Final Four||03.30.10 at 12:36 am ET|
It’s hard for Shelden Williams to believe the last time the Duke appeared in the Final Four, he was on the court.
In 2004 the Blue Devils suffered a one-point loss to the University of Connecticut Huskies, who went on to win it all. Since then, the team had not been able to make it past the Sweet Sixteen. (Interestingly enough, Williams and the Blue Devils were eliminated by Glen Davis and the LSU Tigers in 2006.) But that all changed this season.
Six years later, Williams watched Duke defeat Baylor in the Elite Eight prior to the Celtics-Spurs game. (He even boasted when the Blue Devils drained back-to-back 3-pointers.) The top-seeded Blue Devils will face the second-ranked Mountaineers of West Virginia on Saturday in a Final Four match up. It has been a long wait for Williams, who is happy to see his alma mater just one game away from the championship battle.
What was it like watching Duke advance to the Final Four?
‘It’s great. It’s kind of strange that this is the first time that we’ve been back to the Final Four since my team in ‘04. It’s been kind of crazy, but actually this year has been amazing for college basketball fans to watch. This tournament has been unbelievable with underdog teams and powerhouse teams, you never know what to expect. If you had tried to tell me after being in the tournament that a fifth seed, a fifth seed, and only one one-seed would make it, that’s crazy.’
Why do you think the Blue Devils could win it all this year?
‘Everybody on that team is playing their role. Nobody’s getting out of hands with things, nobody’s trying to doing more than what they can do. I think just everybody is playing their role and playing off of each other well. I think that’s a great thing for them to do. Whether they’re not shooting well, like [Sunday], (Kyle) Singler was 0-for-10, he’s one of the top scorers if not the top scorer on the team, and they still managed to find a way to win. That says a lot.’
Even though you are in the NBA now, what do you miss the most about playing in the NCAA Tournament?
‘Just how much every game means to you, how much the atmosphere comes into play, everybody is into it whether they love you or hate you. Basketball is like king and everything else is secondary. It’s one of the best feelings to be part of.’
For more on Williams career at Duke, where he graduated as the school’s all-time leader in rebounds and blocked shots, check out WEEI.com’s Inside the Game series.
|Technically, Doc not happy with Davis||03.27.10 at 12:29 am ET|
Glen Davis picked up a technical foul with 1:16 left in the third quarter and the Celtics leading 72-54. Beno Udrih made all three free throws and then scored four more point before time expired as the Kings trimmed what had been a 24-point lead down to 13, 74-61.
Doc Rivers wasn’t happy with Davis for the transgression.
“You don’t get a technical in that situation,” Rivers said. “You’re not [Kevin] Garnett. You don’t get the liberty to talk to the officials. I don’t know. Clearly, he earned it, I guess. But you just don’t get it.”
Rivers mood wasn’t helped by Davis’ play either. Playing without Kendrick Perkins, who missed the game with knee tendinitis, Davis entered the game early after Rasheed Wallace picked up two early fouls. Davis responded with four points and two rebounds but he was non-factor the rest of the game.
“He wasn’t playing well anyway at that point,” Rivers said. “I thought he was playing like the score and he’s not at that point in his life where he can turn it on and off. We need him to be an every-possession player and I didn’t think he was that tonight.”
|Doc to big men: Shelden ‘wants your minutes’||03.17.10 at 8:40 pm ET|
Doc Rivers remembers how vital a sense of urgency can be for those who back up the starters.
Now, with Shelden Williams seeing some more playing time of late, he hopes history is in the course of repeating itself.
And he’s let everyone on the second unit know it.
“We kind of alerted the other bigs that if you’re not getting the job done, we’re just going to go with Shelden,” Rivers said before Wednesday’s game. “If he’s not, then we’ll go back with you. But I think right now, with our team, I think that’s a good place for all of them to be in.”
Rivers clearly is looking for that extra fire in the second unit to motivate the likes of Davis and Rasheed Wallace.
“I thought that was very good a couple of years ago with Leon and Baby,” Rivers said. “I thought that sense of urgency that the other guy wanted to play your minutes was a good thing for our team.
“We kind of feel into but I think it’s great that Shelden is there and wants your minutes.”
Williams has seen significant minutes of late in blowouts over the Pacers, Pistons and Knicks.
“It’s need and he’s showing me something,” Rivers said. “It’s been great all year in the fact that once he stopped playing he never stopped working.”
|Tuohy discusses Davis’ audition for ‘The Blind Side’||03.10.10 at 6:15 pm ET|
On Sunday, Glen Davis shared his story of auditioning for ‘The Blind Side’ and finishing in the top three for the lead role of Michael Oher.
Another connection to the movie was made on Wednesday when the real-life Sean Tuohy, now a television broadcaster for the Grizzlies, came to Boston to call the Celtics-Grizzlies game. He smiled as he recalled meeting Davis during the player’s rookie season.
‘He got casted for it and we just happened to be here the next day, so I sought him out and talked to him about it,’ Tuohy said. ‘He was so funny. He said, ‘You need to get me that part!’ Then a few months later they came to Memphis and Michael was there. So he met Michael and it was funny. He said, ‘I almost played you!’ Michael said, ‘No, you’re too big time to play me.’ He said, ‘No you’re too big time!’ ”
The role ultimately went to Quinton Aaron, but that wasn’t any knock on Davis.
‘He was too good, that’s what it was,’ Tuohy explained. ‘They were looking for somebody that when they walked in the room, you immediately were attracted to, but you were immediately attracted to in a way that you’d want to help. And Glen, he’s bigger than life so he doesn’t exude anything about need. He exudes a lot of confidence. They said he was almost too pretty and also wasn’t big enough.’
Big Baby wasn’t big enough? Davis is listed at 289 pounds, nearly 200 pounds less than Aaron when he was cast for the role. Oher himself weighs in at over 300 pounds.
Even though Davis did not land the role in ‘The Blind Side,’ Tuohy says it is hard not to like his outgoing personality.
‘He smiles all the time. As soon as he walks in he’s got this smile,’ he said. ‘He’s the guy you should hate on the other team. Especially in college, I was an Ole Miss guy, but it was hard to hate him because you knew he was out there having fun. He hardly has a look of need. He has a look of, ‘I’ve got things going in the right direction.’ ‘
|Daniels dedication contagious||02.26.10 at 1:06 am ET|
Marquis Daniels is sick.
Not sniffly nose sick, but that stay-in-bed-all-day kind of sick where you can’t help but feel bad for him when you see that pained look on his face.
He fought through picks, defenders, and illness. Daniels hustled for 31 minutes, defended LeBron James, grabbed three rebounds, and picked off a steal along the way.
‘He did a great job,’ said Glen Davis. ‘Being sick is tough. He’s a competitor and he plays hard. But he went out there and did what he had to do.’
After the game Daniels looked exhausted as he slouched at his locker. His voice was faint and he simply shook his head when asked how he felt.
The Celtics will not practice on Friday. Daniels will wait until then to talk to the doctors about what he kind of activity he should or should not do.
But even though he is sick, it’s his dedication that’s most contagious.
‘I commend him because the last day or so he’s been somewhat shaky and not strong,’ said Ray Allen. ‘You could tell that his energy was very low. So for him to be out there, I definitely commend him.’
|New rumors: Glen Davis and DJ Augustin||02.10.10 at 10:52 am ET|
The latest Celtics trade rumor involves the Charlotte Bobcats and point guard D.J. Augustin. You may remember Augustin as the rookie point guard who suggested last season that the C’s try to intimidate people and if that doesn’t work, they fold. The kid gives good quote if nothing else.
The initial rumor from Chris Broussard on ESPN involved Augustin and Glen Davis, but as others have already noted, that wouldn’t work straight up because Davis is what is known as a base-year compensation player. The short version is that Davis’ $3 million contracts counts half in trade scenarios, but counts for real against another team’s cap.
Charlotte Observer beat man Rick Bonnell checks in to suggest that Davis may not be the object of the Bobcats interest and that maybe, Larry Brown would like to be reunited with Rasheed Wallace. There has been nothing to suggest that the Celtics are interested in moving Sheed, despite his less-than-stellar play this season.
That’s a lot of smoke, but not exactly a fire, and as Zach Lowe from Celtics Hub suggests perhaps all of this is a small part of a much larger move. It certainly has that feel.
So, who is D.J. Augustin? He’s a shortish point guard with a scorer’s mentality who has fallen out of favor after a strong rookie season. This is a pattern for Brown who falls in and out of love with young players, particularly point guards, all the time. From the Celtics perspective, Augustin could be a younger version of Eddie House with better ball-handling skills, so he is an intriguing player.
|Glen Davis: Don’t play if you’re not a competitor||01.26.10 at 7:44 pm ET|
WALTHAM — The Celtics leave Wednesday morning to begin one of their toughest four-day stretches of the season. On Thursday, they play in Orlando, followed by a road game in Atlanta the next night.
‘Huge,” Glen Davis said of the week. “These are big, big, big games. If you’re not a competitor, you don’t need to play in these games. This is a great opportunity for us to keep our win streak alive and also get better with playoff-contending teams. We’re looking forward to the challenge. Every game is big but these games are bigger.’
Speaking of Davis, he said he is on a new path when it comes to his former moniker – ‘Big Baby’
‘Big Baby will always be a part of me. But I’m going to put Big Baby on the shelf ‘ for now,’ he said.
Asked why Davis, No. 11, is leaning toward ‘Uno, Uno’ as a new nickname, Davis pointed toward Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. Davis doesn’t feel the need to formally change his last name, just his handle.
“Every sport has their version of nicknames,” Davis said. “He paved the way. Knock off or not, I’m a different player than Ochocinco. He plays football. I play basketball.”
Davis wouldn’t be the first pro athlete in Boston to follow the Cincinnati receiver’s lead. In 2008, Jonathan Papelbon had ‘Cinco Ocho’ T-shirts made up sporting the reverse of the famous wide receiver, and representing the No. 58 on the back of Papelbon’s uniform.
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