In talking about the upcoming schedule Sunday, Ed Davis talked about going into the break with wins against Toronto and Cleveland. Then, Davis volunteered that post-ASG, he has two games circled on the schedule.
“You know we got to bust Portland’s ass when we get back. That’s our mindset.” When asked if that was his mindset, Davis didn’t step back. “Oh for sure. I told you, man, if there is one one game we have to win this year, it’s that Portland game. We’ve got to win that Portland game and at Portland.”
For the record, the Nets play the Trail Blazers at Barclays on February 21, the first game after the break, and on March 25, near the end of their killer West Coast road trip. Davis, of course, played in the Rose City for three seasons but was low-balled by the Blazers and wound up with the Nets on a one year, $4.4 million deal. Well below his current value.
That’s vintage Ed Davis. He takes no prisoners. None. Tells it like it is. That same sense was evident in a Hoopshype profile published this weekend under the headline, “Don’t let rebounding sensation Ed Davis go unnoticed on the Nets,” a play on D’Angelo Russell’s quote reminding the media of how important the 29-year-old has been to the Nets’ resurgence. It’s not much of an exaggeration to suggest he is the Nets’ indispensable player.
As Bryan Kalbrosky noted in his Hoopshype profile...
Davis has an offensive rebounding percentage that currently ranks in the 99th percentile among all players at his position, per Cleaning the Glass. He’s averaging a career-high 5.6 offensive rebounds per 36 minutes thus far. The 6-foot-10 big man has had eight offensive rebounds (second-most from any non-starter) off the bench multiple times this season.
Going broader, Davis is third in the league in rebound percentage (career-high 22.1 percent), offensive rebound percentage (career-high 14.1 percent) and in defensive rebound percentage (career-high 30.5 percent). He’s the only player in the league in the top three in all three categories.
He has at times this season led the league in rebounding percentage, but he prides himself on getting that offensive rebound.
“Offensive rebounds are deflating,” Davis told HoopsHype. “When the other team gets them against us, it crushes us. You play good defense for 20 seconds and then there is an offensive rebound, kick it out for a three, it hurts. It changes the momentum. Those plays turn the game around. So I try to do that to my opponents.”
This is arguably his best season in the NBA, his eighth, He may have averaged a few points better than the 5.9 points he averaging in 18.2 minutes, but his 8.7 rebounds per game and rebound percentage —which has hovered around 25 percent all season— are easily the best of his career.
He says he has an advantage in the NBA’s small ball era.
“So I have the advantage down low,” he explained. “Teams are spacing the floor so it’s one-on-one near the basket, me versus just someone else rather than multiple people. I like my chances in those situations. I just try to predict where the ball is going to go as soon as the shooter releases it. I’m going to always be in the right place at the right time. I react as fast as possible.”
Kalbrosky notes that Davis has scored 125 points on putbacks so far this season. According to Synergy Sports, that currently ranks No. 7 among all players in the Eastern Conference.
All that effort and BBIQ has made him a favorite of his teammates and fans.
“He wants it more. He is going to do it. He lets you know that he is going to get it and then he follows up on his word. We have confidence in him,” Dinwiddie told Hoopshype.
Davis says he likes his situation in Brooklyn and would like to be back. In the meantime, Davis is focused on those Blazers’ games. Considering that Portland implied that he was on the downside of his career, that’s plenty of motivation.
- Don’t let rebounding sensation Ed Davis go unnoticed on the Nets - Bryan Kalbrosky - Hoopshype