After playing an integral role for the Boston Celtics this season as the first big man off Doc Rivers' bench, a member of the team's best five-man unit and a late-game linchpin alongside Kevin Garnett in an active Boston frontcourt, Glen Davis has struggled mightily in the playoffs, and especially in the second round against the Miami Heat.
During Boston's tough 98-90 overtime loss to the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Monday night, Davis played 16 1/2 rarely productive, mostly awkward minutes. He scored four points, missing three of his four field-goal attempts, with two of the misses coming on airballs. He failed to secure a single rebound but did pick up three fouls.
He couldn't establish post position against Miami reserve James Jones, over whom he enjoys about a 60-pound weight advantage. His most memorable play of the night was either getting wrapped up by Heat point guard Mike Bibby on a breakaway (he didn't make the layup) or getting hit in the face by a Kevin Garnett pass in the second quarter, then falling to the floor as he tried to grab the carom (he didn't get it, turning the ball over).
Davis averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per 36 minutes for the Celtics during the regular season; he's down to 7.9 and 6.2 per 36 in the playoffs. His playoff Player Efficiency Rating is 4.6, eighth-worst among all postseason participants (three of his seven inferiors are members of the New York Knicks, natch), and just a tick above the league's worst regular-season PER (Stephen Graham, stand up!). He had a +1 efficiency differential during the regular season; in the postseason, he's at -24 through eight playoff games.
No matter how you slice it, it's inarguable that Davis has all but disappeared in the playoffs. And nobody knows it better than "Big Baby" himself.
"I've been nowhere to be found throughout this whole playoffs — I have to find myself," Davis told reporters after Game 4, noting that he needs to do "everything — hit some shots, rebound, take some charges" better.
"I have to find Glen, and I don't know where Glen is at. I have no idea who is playing right now."
At this point, the only thing Davis has left is hope. From Mark Murphy at the Boston Herald:
There's only one way back, from what Davis can see.
"Working on my craft and getting back to believing in my game," he said. "When you get a couple of games where you're not playing well, you've just got to keep going and continue to believe in what you do. I just can't find it."
Davis has been a solid contributor for the Celtics in each of the last two postseasons, which makes his vanishing act all the more maddening to Boston partisans and, I'm sure, to himself, his coaches and his teammates. His inability to provide offense and rebounding on the second-unit is a big reason Boston's been outscored 98-77 in second quarters during this series, and the Celtics' inability to exploit Miami's lack of depth behind the Big Three Plus Joel Anthony (Sometimes Featuring Mario Chalmers) has been a huge missed opportunity in a series that easily could be level headed back to Miami for Game 4.
So if you do see Glen or his game at the arcade or the gourmet food truck or wherever, could you do Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge a favor? Tap Glen/his game on the shoulder real quick and let him/it know that the sad shell in which he/it used to be encased has fallen behind Jeff Green on the Celtics' depth chart, that he's/it's going to be a free agent when this season's over, and that he's/it's losing millions and millions more dollars by the day? It'd be mighty neighborly of you, and I'm sure Celtics fans everywhere would appreciate it.