What Glen Davis brings to the table

Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

It sounds like it's down to the Nets and Clippers. They are the last two teams involved in the chase for former NBA Champion Glen Davis. Davis was bought out by the Orlando Magic this week and is looking to join a new team as soon as possible.

The season so far

How was Davis' season in Orlando? The numbers will help tell the story:

Metric

Glen Davis

Games Played

45

Minutes per game

30.1

True Shooting percentage

48.5

Assist rate

10.1

Turnover rate

8.5

Usage rate

21.3

Rebound rate

11.8

PER

13.9

Win Shares per 48

.055

Injuries have plagued Davis over the past two seasons. Right before his buyout, Davis suffered an Achilles injury. He got hurt against Cleveland and didn't return. Davis didn't make his season debut until November 23 against Miami as he recovered from two offseason surgeries on his left foot. He missed eleven games due to a left shoulder injury before ultimately bowing out after breaking his foot against the Knicks.

The first thing that stands out to me with relation to Davis is his usage rate. When he joined Orlando at the start of the lockout shortened 2011-2012 season, he was expected to provide physical play & some scoring punch off the bench to complement Dwight Howard (And you wonder why the Magic were such a mess?). When Howard went away, Davis became the focal point of Orlando's offensive attack. He ended up struggling in his new role & amassed a True Shooting percentage of only 48.3. Davis was actually pretty successful on the inside, but has been most comfortable throughout shooting jumpers from the high post.

I could have sworn that Davis had been expanding his range to include three point shooting in recent years. However, my memory was incorrect as Davis has taken only 26 three pointers in the last three seasons combined. He may not be living from deep, but when we take a look at his shot chart

Shotchart_1393112004887_medium

We do see that Davis is fond of the long two pointers. He'd fit in well on Los Angeles. As a team, the Clippers have been the third best team from the midrange area, converting on 42.9 percent of their attempts, trailing only Oklahoma City & Dallas. Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford & J.J. Redick are excellent shooters from the midrange area and Blake Griffin has developed into a league average jump shooter. He'd get good looks in the LA offense as the fourth option (at best) and wouldn't be needed to lead the offense for extended time periods. He could also play late in the game if the Clippers need some extra size to pair with Griffin and are leery of DeAndre Jordan's free throw shooting.

On the Nets, he might be best suited to work on the inside despite his preference for jumpers. For the first time since the 2003-2004 season, the Nets aren't in the bottom ten as it relates to efficiency inside the restricted area. When Kevin Garnett has had success on offense, it's been from the elbows and not the block. Along with that, KG isn't someone that has plays run for him very often so Nets management need not worry about that. Joe Johnson has been very effective on the left block & with his willingness to pass, Davis should get decent looks in the event his man goes to double Johnson. Back to Davis, if he does spend time in the low post, that could free up some more space for Deron Williams, Paul Pierce & the other Brooklyn perimeter players.

As a defender, he didn't really harm Orlando. With Davis on the court, the Magic allowed 104.8 points per 100 possessions with him on the court compared to 103.8 without him. They also did a better job forcing turnovers & limiting opponent's trips to the free throw line, but the difference between on and off isn't all that significant. At 6'9 and 289 lbs, Davis is best suited defending Centers. Tyler Lashbrook of Orlando Pinstriped Post has more:

As a power forward, opponents post a 19.6 PER against him, but that number dips to 12.5 when Davis is lined up against centers. The league's power forwards are becoming more skilled and more perimeter-oriented: Davis just isn't athletic enough to effectively defend most of them. Centers, on the other hand. are still less mobile and less able to make plays on the outside: Davis, as a large, wide, strong man, has just the right skill-set to counter those larger, slower opponents.

*Side note: That description could fit ex-Net Reggie Evans to a tee.

If he were to join the Clippers, he would take Jordan's place. DJ is fourth in blocks per game & defensive rebounding percentage, although it sounds as if there's still room for growth on this side of the ball. It stands to reason that Doc Rivers would go with a player that, although he drove him bonkers at times, he is very familiar with. However, with Phoenix & Golden State hot on their heels, Rivers & friends might keep things the way they are.

In Brooklyn, he would be best utilized in a big lineup with Kevin Garnett against a team like Indiana should they meet up in the playoffs. Garnett is the team's best interior defender and figures to play more minutes late in the season as Brooklyn fights for either playoff positioning or a seed in the playoffs.

Unsurprisingly, Davis' last days in Orlando were a bit of a mess. As a player with Championship experience, he was expected to provide some leadership and set a positive example for Orlando's young players. However, that didn't happen. Magic Basketball's Andrew Lynch sums up Davis' tenure in Orlando:

When he’s happy, he certainly has value, and a contender such as the Los Angeles Clippers will look to add Davis for frontcourt depth and whatever nebulous "championship experience" he might bring from his time with former coach Doc Rivers in Boston.

The issue for Davis and Orlando? He’s been anything but content with the losing and, at times, aimless progress of a rebuild. His stint with the Celtics, along with his first year in Orlando, conditioned Big Baby to a certain level of success. When the bottom fell out, he was in no condition to play the good soldier.

That by no means excuses everything that’s gone wrong for Davis as a member of the Magic, however. Quite the contrary. A player with his exposure to the necessity of veteran leadership and locker room chemistry should have been capable of instilling the right mindset and work ethic in the younger players. Instead, Davis has been a tempest inside a volcano inside a pressure cooker, ready to explode on keyboards and sulk on the hardwood.

Davis doesn't figure to cause much trouble in either Los Angeles or Brooklyn. For starters, his Achilles isn't 100 percent so he's not in the position to really beef about anything. Also, if he joins Los Angeles, he'll be playing for a coach he's familiar with in Rivers and will have a legitimate shot at a Championship for the first time since the 2010 Playoffs. If he chooses to join the Nets, he'll be reunited with his former Celtic teammates Pierce and Garnett. It also doesn't hurt that Garnett has been recruiting him.

Would he help?

I think he'd be a positive addition to whichever team he signs with. If he goes to Los Angeles, he'll be with a contender, a coach he's familiar with and the best point guard in the Association. If he goes to Brooklyn, he'll be joining a team that, while a long shot to fulfill the original goal set out at the beginning of the year, can still win the Atlantic Division and make some noise in the playoffs.

He's been a decent jump shooter and figures to continue that trend this season and next. Although the game is still evolving, he has enough skills on offense and defense that he can hang in there provided he has the proper level of motivation. Both teams are in need of big men that can do a decent job on the glass.

In the end, I think Davis joins the Clippers. He'd be joining a team that has a decent to good shot at making the NBA Finals, a coach he's very familiar with, and the best point guard in the Association. He'd also be joining the third best offense in the league this season and because they play at a faster pace than Brooklyn, he figures to have more scoring opportunities. And, he would be the first big man off the bench in Los Angeles. If he came to Brooklyn, Andray Blatche would (and should) come in the game before him. Either way, this saga figures to end very soon.

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