By ROBERT LEE
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON - Boston coach Doc Rivers and Celtics president of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, both said yesterday that they are disappointed in Glen Davis, who broke his right thumb while fighting with his childhood friend, Shawn Bridgewater, early Monday morning.
But they both said that Davis is still a part of the Celtics organization and they are both expecting good things from him this year.
Neither one would divulge the length of his suspension, and Rivers said that Davis has not addressed the team yet, but he is sorry for his actions.
While Davis will be missed over the next six weeks while he recovers, the one player they both expect to fill his shoes is Shelden Williams, a former first round pick (5th overall, 2006) out of Duke.
And Williams is doing just that. He led the Celtcis' bench with 12 points and 9 rebounds in Boston's 92-59 rout of the Charlotte Bobcats Wednesday night.
"Shelden is a solid player," Rivers said. "Shelden was a high draft pick for a reason and he was a dominant player in college for a reason. My job, our staff's job, is to get that out of him. It's in there. He has a great opportunity to do it with this team.
"He's starting to understand what we need of him. He's a terrific elbow shooter. He can spread the floor for us in that way. He's a terrific rebounder. He has to learn our schemes defensively."
In high school, Williams was the Oklahoma Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002, and he left Duke as the all-time school leader in blocked shots and rebounds. While at Duke, he became only the third player in NCAA history to score 1,500 points, grab 1,000 rebounds, block 350 shots, and pick up 150 steals.
He was also selected as a first team All-American as a senior at Duke. But after being selected 5th overall by the Atlanta Hawks in 2006, his NBA career never took off.
He has been a career underachiever and has never averaged more than 5.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, which happened to be his rookie season.
He believes that he hasn't been successful in the NBA because he's never gotten a real chance to show the world what he can do. He has only averaged 14.7 minutes per game in his career.
"When I get a lot of minutes I've proved that I can be productive on this level," Williams said.
Williams decided to join the Celtics this season for a chance to win an NBA title, and because he believes that the Celtics were in need of a few good big men who could come off the bench and immediately contribute.
And that's what he plans on doing.
"I think this is one of the better situations that I've been in," Williams said. "Hopefully I'll continue to have the opportunities but I think by far this is the probably the best situation that I've been in."
As for Davis, Rivers said, "He made a mistake. I was mad at the mistake but he is still part of our team. You get upset at your kids but they are still your family, and that's the way I look at Baby. He's still part of this family and he's going to be an important part of this family."