When it was confirmed that the Boston Celtics would be facing the Orlando Magic in Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs, I made, what some people would say was a CRAZY, LUDICROUS, ABSURD, DOWN RIGHT STUPID comment.
What was the comment you ask?
I told people that the key to a Celtics victory was none other than everyone's favorite redhead, Brian Scalabrine.
Yes. I am serious. Brian Scalabrine is the most important player for the Boston Celtics in Round 2. Not Paul Pierce. Not Ray Allen. Not Rajon Rondo. Brian Scalabrine.
Why you ask?
While there is no debate from me that Glen "Big Baby" Davis is the better player than "Scal", he just can't cover Rashard Lewis. He isn't quick enough, agile enough or athletic enough.
I remember calling the local sports talk show in Boston, WEEI, the day of Game 1. I told the hosts this same theory of mine. Well, the hosts actually laughed at me and said I was crazy.
In the first quarter of Game 1, Rashard came out scorching Big Baby. Hitting jumpers in his face, actually posting up the bigger Glen Davis and just scoring from everywhere. Totalling 12 points in the quarter, on 6 of 8 shooting. The majority of which was scored on Davis.
Enter Brian Scalabrine:
Sure he was just average on defense in the first half. He picked up a few bad fouls against the quicker Lewis, but once the second half began, he made the needed adjustments. Rashard went on to score just 4 points in the second half, on a measly one of seven shooting from the floor. That one basket was a three in the corner, with 9:26 left in the third. Meaning he went scoreless for the last 21:26 of the game from the floor, all while the Celtics were attempting their comeback.
Scal was physical with him on the perimeter, something Davis couldn't do for his lack of speed. He was able to guard Lewis off the dribble, on the post and avoided putting him on the line for easy points.
This may not be the NHL, but +/- stats shouldn't be overlooked. In Game 1, Glen Davis had a +/- of -15, compared to Scalabrine's + 22. That is an amazing stat.
In Game 2, Davis was on a short leash. A very short one actually. After picking up a terrible foul, guarding Lewis on the 3 point line, Doc River immediately went to Scalabrine, only 2:04 into the first quarter.
A statement was made. That statement was Brian Scalabrine will be the primary defender on Rashard Lewis, therefor making him the most important player for the Celtics.
Hey WEEI Sports Talk Radio, who's the crazy one now?