In the 2010 NBA Draft the Toronto Raptors selected Ed Davis out of North Carolina with the #13 overall pick. Davis is a 6’10” 230 pounder who plays power forward and hails from Washington DC. He is the son of ex 10-year NBA vet Terry Davis.
The big fella was a contributor to the North Carolina 2009 NCAA Championship team as a freshman giving them 7 points per game and 7 rebounds per game. He was also the championship team’s #1 shot blocker
At the NBA level Davis has struggled a tad with consistency. Entering his 3rd season it is certain that more will be expected from Davis on the rebounding and shot-blocking front, and as a post-scorer too. He has been decent, but his upside is better than that. Davis has a unique skill-set in that he is left handed (rare for big men. We think of Lamar Odom, Keon Clark, Zach Randolph, and of course Chris Bosh but that’s about it).
For me, I see a lot of similarities here between Davis and Bosh. Both are left-handed big men. Both were already good rebounders at young ages. Both McDonald’s high school All Americans. Both played very good freshman season in the tough ACC. Both will have had a chance to fit in alongside former #1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani (and Davis will get a chance to work alongside Jonas Valanciunas too). Bosh had a bit more to show for his first 2 NBA seasons than Davis does, and Bosh became the All-Star he has been for years beginning with his 3rd season so Raps fans are hopeful Davis can also make mega-strides in season number 3
Davis has played in 131 NBA games now, 26 as a starter. His development has been slowed by injuries, but one thing to like is he usually did well when given the chance to start and play extended minutes. He averages 6 points off the bench, but 8.3 points as a starter. He averages 9 rebounds as a starter so he is on the doorstep of averaging a double-double when he starts. Another reason for optimism with him is his best games come vs division foes.
Davis is not a guy who you need to run plays for in order for him to contribute. He does not force his offense and as a result he shoots at a high percentage. When healthy he is a guy who can be active in the paint and get rebounds, plus put-backs on teammates misses.
Davis is good as a help defender as he looks to block shots and be active. Davis had 13 double-doubles as a rookie, but just 5 last season. His free throw stroke has improved recently.
With Bargnani, Amir Johnson, Linas Kleiza, and Aaron Gray sure to get playing time, plus the addition of Valanciunas, we see a potentially crowded front-court so Davis needs to raise his game in year 3 (plus a guy like Quincy Acy could surely earn playing time also).
When Davis was given more responsibility last season he showed flashes of how good of a contributor he can be, but he needs to take that next step in his development during the 2012-2013 season.
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