The Preseason is over and what better way to kill time before the regular season than to try and draw any conclusions from eight meaningless games. Today’s topic is Glen Davis.
To some, Glen Davis embodies everything about Celtic Pride. He hustles on the court, is not afraid to get his nose dirty (or bloody), and he does whatever coach Doc Rivers asks him to do. To others, he is the most frustrating player on the team.
He is not tall enough to guard NBA centers, he is not quick enough to guard NBA small forwards, he plays with too much emotion, and he tries to finish over much taller players which proves to be largely unsuccessful.
I happen fall under the former but I understand the latter.
Davis’ detractors will point to the fact that Davis appears to be a statistical abyss. Davis is above league average in usage rate but has a below average Player Efficiency Rating and Win Score (HoopData) for all power forwards that played more than 10 minutes per game last season. This data may present some interesting points of discussion but they do not explain why Doc Rivers puts Davis in the game so often. The only answer I can muster pretty much sums up my love/hate relationship with sports statistics.
Those statistics are one way to predict how well Davis will do this up-coming season, and perhaps the best way. But there are also the numbers he put up in the Preseason. As much as these numbers should be dismissed, they are the only numbers available at the moment. Tomorrow, we’ll have more but at the moment, is there anything we can glean from Davis’ Preseason stats?Here are Glen Davis‘ numbers from the Preseason:
As you can see, they are far from the numbers he put up last year. Time will tell whether or not Baby will be any better than he was last year but fans have to realize that for better or worse he is going to get playing time. In that time, Davis will be taking a lot more midrange jump shots because his court time counter part Rasheed Wallace has been replaced by the O’Neal brothers (Shaquille and Jermaine). He is also going to get offensive rebounds and get his subsequent putbacks blocked.
If Davis wants his production to contribute to Celtic victories he is going to have to do two things: 1) make a higher percentage of midrange jumpers; and 2) convert his offensive rebounds into points.
The Preseason numbers suggest Davis may just do that but the sample size is not big enough to determine anything even half conclusive. If Davis does not improve in those two areas than he will become an inconsistent player that gets consistent playing time. In other words, he will be the de facto Tony Allen of this 2010-2011 Celtic roster. Since Allen signed with Memphis, the Celtics have not had a definitive player that drew so much adoration and fan frustration. Davis may be poised to fill that void.
Or he will make the leap from bench player to legitimate sixth man.
Either way, be prepared to get hoarse or hairless.