Just when you thought he’s completely out of the picture, second year Celtic, J.R. Giddens received 33 minutes of playing time in a preseason game. The Celtics rested Ray Allen, Paul, Pierce, and Kevin Garnett, opening up playing time for players like J.R.
All the 6′ 5″ player did was respond with game honors in rebounding with 13 boards, 7 points on 3 of 5 shooting, 2 assists, and a steal (3 TOs). While he was in the game, the team was up 7 points, good for the third best plus/minus on the team.
I had talked with J.R. Giddens after the Knicks game. I asked him to assess his own performance in that game…
I feel like I was out there, (feel) like I was comfortable. I played aggressive and I just went there and made plays when I needed to make the best of the minutes.
Making the transition from college to the pros is always a bit of an adjustment and Giddens’ has had his own bumps in the road. What is the hardest part?
The hardest part for me is just the speed of the game, and being patient. And you know, just learning the offense and stuff like that. But I say that main part is just the speed of the game, playing with guys on a different level, and getting used to offense. You know, the guys that are bigger, athletic, you (have) guys on the perimeter than are more athletic and quicker so its’ getting used to that. I fell like I’m used to it now.
So I’m feeling pretty comfortable out there on the court and every time I get minutes I feel like I make the best of them. So, I think I’m in transition now. Better this year than last year.
You looked like you were a little excited last year, when you came into the game.
Yeah, I’m more calm. I’ve got a lot more time in practice. All summer I’ve been working on my game. A lot more confidence. Like you said I just feel more comfortable out there on the court.
Doc says that defensively you’re looking pretty good. It is on offense that you need to blend your skills in better.
Definitely. I feel like I’m, like you said, sometimes I just have to trust the offense. Let the offense make the plays instead of trying to reject the ball screen, sometime just roll off, you know, let the plan unfold, see what they’re going to do. That means I might have to pass it back to the big or just do other things besides just look for my shot, or not my shot but looking to be aggressive. Like I say, just make the play unfold and see what happens.
Giddens apparently has taken that to heart. He took only 5 shots in 33 minutes against the Nets and made 3. He concentrated on doing other things to help the team.
Some think J.R. might not be in the Celtics long term plans any longer. He is a 25 year old NBA sophomore. This performance could be J.R.’s best plea for Doc looking his way when he looks for bench help at certain times in the game. We will have to see how things work out.
There is little question that minutes will be hard to come by for players at the end of the bench this season. But it is important that Giddens shows he can be a positive for the Celtics when he does hit the court. His defensive skills are said to be good. Using his skills and energy in a team concept would be his best hope for helping this team.
Last night was a good sign in that regard.