Here’s a clip from the best press conference of the playoffs — the Big Baby and Nate show. Also Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson talking about the Celtics bench and their energy.
Make no mistake — Big Baby slobbered. He drooled. Just like a baby. On national television. For all the cameras to catch.
He doesn’t really care. And if he can play like that again in Game 5, the entire city of Boston will drool right along with him. (I think the Southies already do.)
“Let me tell you something right quick,” Glen “Big Baby” Davis said during his stand up routine and post-game press conference with Nate Robinson, televised on NBA TV. “When you’re in the moment, you’re in the moment. If I slobber, snot, spit, please excuse me. Kids, don’t do that. Have manners and things like that.”
Didn’t surprise Doc Rivers.
“I’ve seen that action before. It’s usually after we run in practice,” Rivers said.
Rivers will drool on national television for another performance like that.
Davis provided what Kevin Garnett has not really this series — a strong inside presence to match the Lakers. He had 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting. Davis was matched up on Lamar Odom — since Andrew Bynum was sitting — and just dominated him inside. Davis has the size to just back Odom down, but he is amazingly fleet of foot and athletic for a man his size. You can see where the comparisons to Shaquille O’Neal came from at LSU.
Drool on, Big Baby. Drool on.
“We’re like Shrek and Donkey.”
–Nate Robinson on him and Glen “Big Baby” Davis.
A collection of thoughts on Lakers-Celtics Game 4…
- If Glen Davis is a Drunken Seal, tonight was the big show at Sea World and everyone clapped for him. Davis was a beast, and his ability to create shots against the Lakers’ bigs was pretty much the difference in the game. Davis’ emotion seems like a caricature of itself at times, but tonight it also served as the ripcord to kickstart the Celtics’ motor. Offensive rebounds aren’t easy to come by against the Lakers, and Davis got four of them. It was his yelling and screaming that brought the crowd back into it and the Celtics fed off that. It’s the circle of life, really.
- Andrew Bynum is the difference. I don’t know how else to put it. I could talk about the rebounding, but that leaves out the defense. I could talk about the defense, but that leaves out the drop-off pass work. I could talk about the dump pass buckets, but then… you get the point. The weird thing has been that you can’t noticeably see the effect of the knee injury. He seems healthy on the floor, but is obviously telling the trainers something. You have to think Jackson yanked back on Bynum’s minutes tonight to give him time to rest up for a pivotal Game 5. It fits with Jackson’s M.O. They need him more than any other player outside of Pau and Bryant for Game 5.
- Paul Pierce’s ability to get space returned tonight, and not a moment too soon. Pierce’s step back elbow jumper is one of the most central parts of the Boston attack and it’s been silent in the Finals until tonight, when Pierce got it going at several points on his way to 19 points on 7 of 12 shooting. He had 5 turnovers, but you’ll gladly take that if it means he’s being aggressive with the ball. Artest got clipped on screens tonight and didn’t have the same tenacity to peel off them as he did in Game 3.
- Rajon Rondo is off. Don’t know if it’s the muscle spasms or the defensive switches and pull-outs to the free throw line, but something’s not right. He’s not dictating the tempo nor the offense the way he has throughout the playoffs. Just three assists for him tonight, and the layups. Ye Gods, the layups. Kid got enough iron to form Optimus Prime. Rondo had a .62 points created per possession used mark tonight, That’s a fairly terrible figure and one that the Celtics need to find a remedy for. As well as Derek Fisher has been playing, Rondo should still be getting his.
- Rasheed Wallace’s outburst after a questionable third quarter foul call while defending Kobe Bryant (after some terrific perimeter defense by Tony Allen to force him inside) was perhaps the longest single stream of obscenities in the history of network television.
- That said, Sheed did manage to have more good plays than bad, particularly the late arcing three he drained that helped fuel a massive Celtic run.
- The Lakers have to consider this somewhat of a letdown game, considering they had a nine point lead, Rondo didn’t go off, Allen didn’t go off, and Garnett was contained. More and more it feels like whichever bench contributes more decides who wins the game.
- Luke Walton, zero minutes. Huh? After a Game 3 where he came up huge with hustle and savvy, Walton gets a DNP-CD tonight, with no official explanation regarding an injury. You have to think his back injury must be worse than they let on, because the Lakers needed a jump and Walton would have been a perfect candidate. Even if he would have allowed more damage from Paul Pierce, he may have helped out the offense which the Lakers desperately needed.
- Pau Gasol had 44 minutes tonight, and still didn’t see the ball enough. 21 points on 13 shots and you still feel like they left a few bullets in the chamber with Gasol. He had one particularly terrific play where he went baseline, managed to worm space and create a bank shot that was straight out of the Tim Duncan playbook. Gasol’s brilliance continues to shine, even as the Laker offense underrates him.
- Anyone else think Andrew Bynum’s going to play a ton of Starcraft II when he’s recovering from knee surgery in five weeks?
- Nate Robinson is everything Stephon Marbury was supposed to be that wasn’t. The fiery former Knick who comes off the bench at point guard and produces points.
- Bryant is struggling in the fourth quarter in this series, putting in heavy minutes then finding even tighter defense in the closing minutes. He scored 12 in the 4th tonight through sheer will power. He’s probably due for an outright explosion, but it’s a trend worth noting as the series continues. That said, some of his shots were pure perfection tonight.
These Lakers were different. It’s what we heard, it’s what we saw. These Lakers were not soft, they would not roll over for the Celtics like two years ago. Right? And they didn’t. For three games.
Then Andrew Bynum sat, his knee clearly worse for the wear. Then Game 4 got physical. Then for the first time in the series the referees let the teams play.
Suddenly, if you squinted just a little, it looked like 2008 again. Boston controlled the boards when it counted. Boston played with a real sense of desperation. Glen “Big Baby” Davis was the best big man on the floor — you really have to squint to think he is Kevin Garnett — and the Lakers bigs were pedestrian or worse. Boston was more physical, they pushed the Lakers around and they won Game 4. And the series is tied 2-2.
Needless to say, the Celtics liked the flow of this game.
“Extremely physical game but it was a clean game…” Rivers said. “Both teams were allowed to play. It was a physical game.”
The Lakers were not allowed to play like they wanted, in part because of the aggressive Celtics post defense and in part because they lacked Bynum. He played 12 minutes — six at the start of the game and a couple other three minute runs — but he hobbled and was slow. In the first few minutes he got an offensive rebound right under the basket and tried to go back up — a shot he normally dunks with authority. This time he could barely elevate and Kevin Garnett blocked his layup. It was that kind of night for him.
Bynum said after the game the swelling is the worst it has been, limiting what he can do, but that the pain is about the same. He also said he was disappointed but planned to bounce back for Game 5. (Kobe added they need him to.)
Without Bynum, the matchups switch. They revert to 2008 inside. The very physical Kendrick Perkins gets to cover Pau Gasol (he still had 21 points but just six rebounds) and puts Kevin Garnett on Lamar Odom (he had 10 points and seven boards).
When the benches came in, Davis got matched up on Lamar and just owned him inside. Davis used his strength to get what he wanted. At the other end, the much quicker Odom was hesitant to attack Davis off the dribble until late in the game, when the Lakers got desperate.
The biggest difference was on the glass. Boston grabbed the offensive rebound on 34.8 percent of their missed shots in Game 4. This was not something they were good at during the regular season, grabbing just 22 percent (28th in the league). Tonight they owned it.
Kobe Bryant had a good game — 33 points on 10 of 22 shooting and 6 of 11 threes — but he could not get going late and take over. He also had seven turnovers. Boston is doing a good job forcing him left and having help ready. He was not able to drive the lane as he did in Game 1. His threes heavily contested. He and Gasol also got tired, as Phil Jackson said after the game, which happened because Jackson did not trust his bench.
In Game 5 the Lakers know they need Bynum back. Not the full strength Bynum, they’ll take the one from a week ago.
“We’re glad we have a couple days off to get him back hopefully in a position where he can help us out again” Phil Jackson said.
They will need him. They will need Kobe late. They will need a sense of desperation. Because Boston has won one game in Los Angeles and if they go ahead 3-2 they know they need to win just one more. They are starting to feel like it is 2008 again.