BOSTON — No doubt about it — Glen Davis is a big dude. At 6-foot-9 and a muscular 295 pounds, he brings a bulky presence to the Celtics starting lineup as he starts Game 2 in place of the suspended Kevin Garnett.
But according to coach Doc Rivers, the choice of Davis over the more experienced Rasheed Wallace wasn't a matter of size or strength — Big Baby is here for his energy, which will no doubt be a huge factor against Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.
"I just think he moves his feet better," Rivers said. "You know, Wade alone was involved in 36 pick-and-rolls in the first game, so we assume he'll be involved in 36 more at least, and you just need a quicker big. Having Rasheed and [Kendrick Perkins] involved in all those pick-and-rolls would be very tough. So you want one or the other on the floor."
Since the league office handed down Garnett's suspension late Sunday afternoon, both teams have had two full days to prepare for a Game 2 without the Celtics star. The Heat are ready for a big night from Big Baby.
"We know what he brings and what he brought to the last game," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That's energy, effort plays, intangibles. They don't run any plays for him, and yet he had as much of an impact on that game as anyone just on hustle plays, along with Tony Allen."
It's not just the defense and the rebounding. The Celtics offense changes dramatically without the Big Ticket in the lineup.
"It's huge," Rivers said. "Kevin facilitates so much of our offense. You know, he was credited with 15 points, but we thought he was probably responsible in Game 1 for almost half our scoring, just with the picks, the hockey passes and all of that stuff. No one guy's going to make that up, so it's going to have to be a team effort."
Davis will have to do his part to help the team. He scored eight points in Game 1 on 2-of-6 shooting, and he averaged 6.3 points per game for the Celtics off the bench this season.