Friday, December 9, 2011

Bye Bye Baby

With the NBA season barely more than two weeks away, the Boston Celtics have traded "Big Baby" Glen Davis to the Orlando Magic in a sign and trade deal for Brandon Bass. Straight up.

This swap of backup power forwards is a minor personnel move, but I like it nonetheless. Despite ranking as the most inefficient converter of long two-pointers in the Association last season, Davis possessed an irrational confidence that inspired him to lauch more than ten shots per game, the majority of which came from the perimeter, off the bench.  Perhaps he was trying to be more like Kevin Garnett, who's range extends to about a foot in front of the three point line, but the bottom line is that, like a Nate Robinson or Brandon Jennings, he was simply taking too many bad shots.  The soon to be 26 year old enjoyed a substantial increase in playing time last year (30 minutes per game after averaging roughly 18 through his first three seasons) so that, combined with a long leash from Coach Doc Rivers (whom he also sparred with), probably convinced him that he wasn't doing anything wrong.  Now I'm not against taking open shots, and Davis proved he was capable of hitting the 18-20 foot jumper consistently, but it shouldn't be his go-to move, not when he weighs nearly 300 pounds and should be backing down guys like Bass.

Speaking of Bass, who posted nearly identical numbers to Davis in 2010-2011, I believe he will fit well in Boston.  He's a slightly better shot blocker and a much more efficient shooter from both the field (career 50 percent, Davis 45) and the charity stripe (83 percent to Baby's 71).  He gives the Green some desperately needed strength and athleticism, and at $4 million  year he's a good bargain (remember that the C's paid Brian Scalabrine more to hand out high-fives and shoot garbage time threes).  Bass is 50 pounds lighter than Davis and is much leaner and fitter, too, so he should be a stronger bet to stay healthy and hold up over the course of the season.  Getting away from Orlando's suffocating offense that depends on Dwight Howard and a ton of three-pointers should also help Bass get more touches and flourish, especially since Rajon Rondo and the rest of the Celts distribute the ball so well.  Rivers should use him as his sixth or seventh man, and he'll get opportunities to start when KG invariably needs days off or goes down with an injury. 

And Davis? I'm sure he'll fit right in with the other chuckers in Orlando.

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