With Dwight Howard out of town, the the fate of the Orlando Magic‘s season has fallen on the very broad, albeit slightly chubby shoulders of Glen Davis.
Obviously the very thought of “Big Baby” being a franchise cornerstone would have been flat-out laughable a few seasons ago. But to our surprise, he’s been shockingly consistent and his production has been borderline elite.
After all, they say numbers don’t lie. And although that’s a premise I’ve never put much stock into, they’ve certainly painted a pretty accurate picture with Davis so far.
As Davis opened the season averaging a staggering, and somewhat baffling, 22.3 points and 9.3 boards over his first three contests. The kind of production we saw glimpses of when he burst onto the scene against the Pacers last postseason, when he put up an almost identical stat line of 19 points and 9.2 rebounds.
Unfortunately, right as Davis had us all believing he is for real. He pulled off the only kind of flop that isn’t fined these days putting up a pretty sub-par performance in a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night.
Putting up a pretty depressing stat line of 4 points and 6 rebounds in just under 20 minutes of play. It also didn’t help he absolutely abused by Anderi Kirilenko’s defense all night and was one turnover shy of having more turnovers than points.
So while I’m not going to completely antagonize the guy for one off game, I am going to say these performances aren’t acceptable for “the man” of any team.
Davis even openly accepted that role at the beginning of the season saying:
“I’ve been around the league for a while now. I’ve seen a lot of great players play. I’ve seen what to do and what it takes to win, and I’ve seen what it doesn’t take to win. I’ve seen it. So I know the dos and don’ts, and it’s my opportunity here to seize it, and I’m letting it all hang out. (via Josh Robbins, Orlando Sentinel)”
He let it all hang out the first three games the season and legitimately looked like an all-star caliber player. Whereas Wednesday night he let it all hang out, and looked an awful lot like he did off the bench with the Boston Celtics two years ago.
In essence, I do believe that Davis has undergone the natural maturation and hard knocks it takes in this league to move to the next level. Now that he’ll finally have the opportunity to take that step forward, he has to realize that it takes not only consistency on the floor but in his mental approach to reach that next level.
If he manages to do those two things and genuinely accept a role as the team’s leader, I honestly believe Davis has what it takes to be an All-star.