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Celtics find ways to reinvent themselves

Several players have managed to turn things around since losing Game 1 of the NBA Finals, and it has been apparent on the court as Boston has tied the series with the Lakers at two games apiece.

June 12, 2010|By Lisa Dillman

Reporting from Boston -- Reinvention, thy name is Celtics.

Everything old is new again.

New Perk (Kendrick Perkins), new KG ( Kevin Garnett), new Big Baby (Glen Davis) and new Sheed ( Rasheed Wallace).

OK, not so fast. Let's scratch that last one.

First, KG, who has seemingly reversed the clock after a miserable showing in Game 1, abruptly turning his fortunes around by Game 2. The Celtics-Lakers NBA Finals are tied 2-2 with Game 5 here on Sunday.

"It was important to me to feel like I was actually in the game," Garnett said Saturday about Game 2. "I could care less about getting the ball. I could care less about scoring. But if I need to be effective in the post presence, then I need to do that."

Then there's Perkins, teetering on the edge of a one-game dismissal, which could come via a seventh postseason technical, but, so far, handling the balancing act quite nicely.

"I thought Perk did a great job of walking away [from Pau Gasol]," said Celtics Coach Doc Rivers. "It's clearly a new Perk. I hadn't seen that side of him. "The good news is we know he can do it. And the bad news is now we expect him to be one of those type of guys."

Finally, Big Baby, who broke his thumb in a scrap with a childhood buddy just before the season opener, which forced him to miss the first 27 games.

It would be a stretch to say Baby grew up in Game 4 — who could say that about a drooling, screaming lively force? But his energy and scoring production off the bench in the fourth quarter prevented the Celtics from falling behind 3-1 in the series.

Point guard Rajon Rondo revealed that he had a few choice words for Davis when he first learned of the injury.

"I was very angry at Baby," Rondo said. "I was pretty [hacked] off. He's very vital to our team and that kind of hurt us. I called him and told him a couple of things. I can't say it right here...."

Rondo reported that Davis took the admonishment in the proper spirit.

There is, understandably, some guarded optimism about the progress Davis has made so far.

"He still has to turn corners," Rivers said. "Honestly, he has to turn a corner tomorrow. Can you have a big game and then can you have another one? And that's for all of them. Nate [Robinson] and Tony [Allen], as well. Are you going to be a one-hit wonder? What is it going to be?"

Baby talk

Robinson had reporters laughing when he responded to a question about the goofiest thing his running-mate, Davis, had done in his presence.

"When he eats his food, he just mixes the whole plate together," Robinson said. "Like he eats his waffles with sunny-side up eggs, kind of runny, mixes it altogether with syrup. I can't do that.

"He eats it all together. It's nasty."

Said Baby, reporting Robinson had the wrong guy, adding: "I don't know what he's talking about."

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