David Lee bounces back with big game ahead of Warriors reunion
Friday's matchup with the undefeated Warriors is the most anticipated regular season game the Celtics have had in recent memory, and it will be an extra special one for power forward David Lee. Lee spent five seasons in Golden State, earning an All-Star nod and an All-NBA Third Team selection in 2013 and an NBA championship last season before being traded to Boston in the offseason.
In his final season as a Warrior, Lee took a backseat to the rising Draymond Green for the good of the group. He was relegated to the bench and posted his lowest scoring and rebounding averages since his rookie year. With the Celtics so far this season, Lee is playing a similar role, coming off the bench in all but three games and averaging just 6.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per game, all lower numbers than last season.
Lee had an especially underwhelming road trip, totaling six points in wins over Miami and Sacramento before sitting out the San Antonio and New Orleans games with a heel injury. However, he bounced back in Wednesday's home win over the Bulls, scoring 12 points and pulling down six boards in just 18 minutes on the floor. Lee came up especially big in the second half, keying the run that put the Celtics up by double digits early in the fourth quarter en route to a 105-100 victory.
That sort of performance is what the C's were hoping for when they acquired Lee: a veteran player on a very young team who can occasionally take control of a game for short stretches. His leadership and intimate knowledge of his former team could be important factors if Boston is to put an end to Golden State's record start to the season.