Jiri Acclimating Self to New Role


PHILADELPHIA - Jiri Welsch smiles a lot more these days. Although the versatile forward maintains it doesn't matter whether he starts or comes off the bench, Welsch looks more comfortable as a member of the starting five, playing alongside Paul Pierce, Gary Payton, Mark Blount, and Raef LaFrentz. Celtics coach Doc Rivers inserted Welsch into the starting lineup against Seattle Sunday.

After last night's 25-minute effort in the 110-97 loss to the 76ers, Welsch is averaging 27.3 minutes and 10.7 points as a starter. He is also 12 for 21 (57 percent) from the floor.

   "It feels good to be out there more and playing more, maybe even it's the guys from the starting lineup," said Welsch, who finished with 7 points last night. "I'm just glad to be out there more and be part of what we're doing right now. I guess it was a [good idea to make a change] because Coach decided to do that. He obviously saw something that might work out for us, so he tried it.

"I don't feel like anything extra or anything in particular is asked of me. I'm just really trying to do the same thing - playing good defense, be active on offense. Obviously, I'm out there with Paul as our first option, with Gary who has the ball in his hands a lot. So, I'm just trying to feed off of them. It's more comfortable."

When Ricky Davis was given the starting nod at small forward, many wondered how Davis, Pierce, and Payton would coexist. But the switch was made because the second unit lacked an offensive spark.

Davis certainly provided a spark last night, leading the team with 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting in 29 mminutes.

When asked if he could be an asset off the bench, Davis added, "Yeah, definitely. It's a good thing. I can keep the bench up, get the second squad going. But it doesn't really matter as long as I'm out there playing. I'm just focusing in on coming in and playing my game, trying to get victories."

Time of his life

It may have been only a minute in a demoralizing loss to Indiana, but to Justin Reed it might as well have been 48 minutes in the NBA Finals. The second-round pick out of Mississippi was thrilled to get his first NBA action against the Pacers Tuesday night. Reed was activated in place of Tom Gugliotta, who has a sore lower back.

"It's a dream situation," said Reed. "I've been blessed enough to get to this level. Now, I'm a part of a team. So, my role is to be ready whenever they call upon me. A situation came [against Indiana] where they needed me and I got a chance to play. My mom and everybody was excited. The little time I played, I enjoyed it. It felt like I played the whole game."

He's defensive

There should be no surprise about what Philadelphia coach Jim O'Brien thought won the game. Defense. Defense. Defense. It just goes to show some coaches never change. "I thought we flat-out got after it defensively. I think the defense won it for us. Our defense was anchored by ball pressure, but we had 27 deflections. Andre Iguodala had 10 and that's extraordinary. I thought it was a great defensive team effort." . . . The Celtics' performance on the glass has been the best barometer of the outcome of the game. In Boston's four wins prior to last night's result, they were averaging 42.5 rebounds and outrebounding their opponents by 7.7 boards. In the Celtics' five losses, they were averaging 37.2 rebounds and were outrebounded by 6.2 boards per game. The Celtics are 4-1 when they outrebound opponents. Last night? Both teams had 41 rebounds . . . With Kansas alums LaFrentz and Pierce and former Saint Joseph's star Delonte West sharing the same locker room, there was plenty of playful ribbing about Tuesday night's Hawks-Jayhawks contest. Kansas routed Saint Joseph's, 91-51, which prompted LaFrentz to comment, "Forty points is about right." . . . It's hard to miss Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens and last night was no exception. Owens entered the Wachovia Center to a standing ovation midway through the second quarter before taking a front-row seat at center court.

1 comment:

FLCeltsFan said...

Ahhh the Jiri Welsch era... Just when I thought I had forgotten it.

I'm confused on the date. 11/25/14?

Follow by Email