Through 19 games this season, David Lee is averaging 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.
He's averaging 15.4 minutes a night, and shooting 51 percent from the floor.
The Celtics have many big men -- Jared Sullinger, Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynk, Tyler Zeller and Lee -- battling for playing time, and Lee knows he needs to make the most of his time on the floor.
“That’s all I can do, is be ready to play 25, 30 but realize that’s not going to be the case most nights,” Lee recently told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “I can choose to be frustrated by it or I can choose to make the most out of my time and make a positive contribution and find a way to do it in different ways.
“I don’t know where it’s going to be, but I know I’m going to be aggressive and I’m going to play with energy. That’s what I’m going to focus on.”
Lee was slated to be the Warriors' starting power forward last season, but a hamstring strain in the team's final preseason game changed everything.
Draymond Green took Lee's place and never looked back.
The day after Golden State won the title, a report surfaced claiming that the Warriors and Lee's agent, Mark Bartelstein, would work to find Lee a new home where he could have a bigger role.
A few weeks later, Lee was traded to the Celtics.
Despite the new scenery, Lee isn't getting extended run.
“I don’t accept [it], it’s very frustrating, and the moment you start to accept it is when [you’ve] kind of stopped trying,” Lee told Washburn. “While Coach (Brad Stevens) can make any decision whom he wants to start or bring off the bench, my goal is to be a guy who’s playing 20, 25 minutes, and I’ve had a meeting with Coach and told him that.
“And that’s no disrespect to any other big [man] we have. But as a player I think everybody wants to play more and that’s just having confidence in your own game.”
Was Stevens receptive?
“He respects that I went and talked to him,” Lee said. “You know to go to your coach and say, ‘Hey what do I need to do better? How do I try to earn more minutes?’ It’s not how can I get more minutes to get better stats or to get more attention, it’s knowing I could help the team...
“I have not been in a situation like this, or a situation where five bigs are trying to play, five capable bigs. There’s been times where it’s been frustrating for every single one of us. But most importantly, we’ve got to find a way that whoever Coach plays, to outplay the other team’s bigs. However it works out, there’s not one selfish guy on this roster.”
Lee missed the Celtics' past two games because of a right heel contusion and is expected to miss a third straight Wednesday.
The Warriors bring their 23-0 record to face Lee's Celtics on Friday nght.