The Memphis Grizzlies didn’t undergo many changes this off-season. They improved a great deal with the additions of Nick Calathes, who will possibly give them depth at point guard, and Mike Miller, who will serve to give their bench an offensive spark that they lacked last season. One major change, though, involves their frontcourt rotation.
In the Rudy Gay trade that happened at the NBA Trade Deadline last season, the Grizzlies acquired power forward Ed Davis. Upon his arrival to Memphis, Davis only further complicated things as it was hard to split up the reserve power forward minutes between him and Darrell Arthur. However, now that Arthur was traded for Kosta Koufos this summer, that leaves Davis as the guy off of the bench at the power forward.
In the 36 games Davis played for Memphis, he put up decent numbers. He averaged 5.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 15.1 minutes per game while shooting a solid 51.7 percent from the floor.
As Davis takes on a more consistent and much bigger role in Memphis this season, his rebounding and his offense aren’t great worries. He’s shown over his three years in the league that he’s a solid rebounder and was productive offensively last season, including averaging 0.91 points per possession in post-ups after coming to Memphis, the 40th best rate in the league last year.
However, for a defensive-minded team like Memphis, Davis’ defense is somewhat problematic. In his 36 games with the Grizzlies, Davis allowed 0.97 points per possession, which ranked a putrid 401st in the league. He was solid in the pick-and-roll, allowing only 0.86 points per possession, but got killed when he was posted up as he allowed 1.06 points per possession.
Davis’ effort on the defensive end has really been his biggest problem. He has the length and athleticism to make things happen, but he often seems to have an air of carelessness about him on that end of the floor. If he wants to help this Grizzlies team to be at their best this season, though, that’s going to have to change.