In Boston, Glen Davis became a jump-shooter "for the good of the team," Doc Rivers says

Glen Davis - Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Davis' former coach in Boston talked Wednesday about a tremendous change in his game.

In the 2007/08 season, Doc Rivers became the first NBA coach that now-Orlando Magic big man Glen Davis ever had. Rivers went on to coach Davis for the first four seasons of the LSU product's career before the Boston Celtics traded him to Orlando.

As a rookie, Davis attempted almost 70 percent of his shots within the restricted area. Over the next five years of his career, he has drifted farther and farther away from the basket, culminating in his attempting 43.1 percent of his shots from mid-range and just 37.2 percent within the restricted circle in the 2012/13 season.

Why the change? Rivers addressed that question Wednesday prior to tipoff between Orlando and the Los Angeles Clippers, his new team.

"With us [in Boston], we had Perk [Kendrick Perkins] and we had Kevin Garnett [inside]," Rivers said. "We needed a guy to stretch the floor. And so we really worked with him [Davis] and asked him to do that. He did that for the good of the team and it was important for us."

Rivers said he thinks Orlando "probably" needs more balance from Davis than Boston did, so he's "not just [...] a perimeter shooter."

The former Coach of the Year is probably onto something: Davis converted just 34 percent of his mid-range tries in 2012/13.

L.A.'s coach also said he still talks to Davis "at times" and he characterized their relationship as "good." He also said that he's "really proud" of Davis, whom he called "Little Baby," for all the weight he's lost as he's rehabilitated from a broken bone in his left foot.

"He looks great," Rivers said of his former charge. "He really does."

Davis hasn't played since January. He said Saturday he's "been cleared" to return to Orlando's practices, but "I gotta take my time [....] I'll be out there [in games] when I feel good."

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