The NBA has just announced that Kevin Garnett will be suspended for Game 2 for elbowing Heat guard Quentin Richardson during the fourth quarter of Saturday night's Game 1 against the Miami Heat. It is clear in the video footage that Garnett's elbow did make contact with Richardson's face during all the commotion near the Heat's bench. Richardson was fined $25,000 for the incident, but there were no further suspensions.
With the Game 2 suspension of Kevin Garnett, coach Doc Rivers has another big decision to make regarding the rotation.
It is no secret that Rasheed Wallace has done less than impressive work this season. The hopes and expectations coming into the season for Wallace were that he could come off the bench and be very effective as the sixth man. He has not done that for the most part, leaving many to question his work ethic and desire to win. On the season, Wallace averaged 9.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, and shot .409% from the field including an atrocious .283% from three-point range. On top of that, his help defense is not much to speak of. Wallace has played in 79 games this season, starting in 13 of them. That being said, he has zero double-doubles on the season- he had 15 last season in ten more minutes of play per game (22.5 minutes this season).
Glen Davis, on the other hand, has also had a very interesting season from start to finish. We all remember how poorly the season started for Davis, with an unfortunate incident involving his friend and girlfriend that lead to Davis needing surgery on a broken right thumb. Wyc, Ainge, and the Celtics were extremely dissapointed in Davis at the time and many assumed that it could be enough to earn Davis a trade at the deadline. Davis played in his first game on December 25th, and has only missed one game since- a loss to Phoenix on December 30th.
In 54 games, including one start on the last game of the season, Davis averaged 6.3 points. 3.8 rebounds, and shot .437% from the field. Davis is also the team's best offensive rebounder per 40 minutes at 4.3. Davis only averaged 17 minutes per game in 54 games, but still finished second in total amount of offensive rebounds on the season with 101. Perkins had 155 offensive rebounds but in 24 more games, averaging 10 more minutes per game as well.
What won't show up in the stat columns is the energy that Davis provided off the bench last night. His hustle and work on the boards earned him playing time in the second half while Wallace was sitting on the bench. Let's not forget how well Davis played in the playoffs in KG's absence last season too. Davis has been put in this position before, and has proven he can handle the pressure.
But will a start over Wallace in the playoffs stroke Davis' ego just a little too much? Maybe, but that might be a risk that Rivers has to take.