Ed Davis grabbed 16 rebounds in 23 minutes Wednesday, the most for a Nets reserve since 2000 when Jamie Feick recorded 25.
Everyone took notice, and at the top of the list was his esteemed protégé Jarrett Allen. The two centers quickly established a relationship after they became teammates in July.
Allen – who had averages of 11.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks prior to Wednesday night’s 11-point, five-rebound, three-block effort – has even told head coach Kenny Atkinson that he continues to learn and grow from watching Davis, who is in his 10th NBA season.
“He watches Ed, and I think that’s why he rebounds better,” said Atkinson of Allen post-game. “I think he understands positioning a little better, I think he understands a kind of hit-first mentality. (Davis has) been a real positive with Jarrett. He coaches him during the game. It’s almost like Jarrett’s got his personal coach out there. Ed is yelling at him all the time. When he had turned that ball over at the end, (Ed said) ‘finish that one!’”
Following his season-high 16 rebounds, Davis leads the team with 8.7 boards per contest, which translates to 17.6 rebounds per 36 minutes, which leads the entire NBA. (Hassan Whiteside is at 17.4 as of Thursday morning, which is second.) He also leads the league in rebounding percentage.
“He’s really been a mentor and Jarrett, to his credit, has really taken to his veteran leadership,” Atkinson added regarding Davis.
Allen himself spoke of the relationship, saying that the connection has grown over the course of the season. On following Davis’ lead, The Fro says it’s an easy process, because his veteran’s heart is in the right place.
“I take it pretty well,” Allen said of Davis’ coaching. “I know he has my best interest in mind, and he knows I’m capable of doing the things he said. So I know I’m going to do it the next play.
“It developed over the course of the season. I really didn’t know Ed at first but I knew he was a good guy. I began trusting him, seeing him on the court.”
Allen also praised Davis for giving everyone on the team the spark needed Wednesday by “grabbing every rebound in sight offensively as well as defensively.”
Here’s Allen on Davis post-game here:
Jarrett Allen (@_bigjayy_) on his relationship with his mentor, Ed Davis (@eddavisXVII).— Bryan Fonseca (@BryanFonsecaNY) January 10, 2019
Speaks to the leadership Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) often talks about. #Nets@NetsDaily pic.twitter.com/TfLiG0UGwt
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