Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images
Glen Davis’ struggles offensively this season have been well-documented. In short, Davis’ bad shot selection has been the driving force behind his inefficiency.
Despite shooting a career-high 65.4 percent at the rim on 5.2 attempts per game, Davis has undermined his effectiveness on offense because of his senseless desire to play like Dwight Howard from 3-9 feet and Kevin Garnett from 10-15 and 16-23 feet, even though he’s shooting 33.3 percent (2.4 attempts per game), 34.6 percent (2.6 attempts per game), and 33 percent (4.3 attempts per game) respectively from those shot locations.
As a result, Davis’ abysmal True Shooting percentage (48.1 percent), buoyed by a career-high usage rate (25.3 percent), has been an albatross on the Orlando Magic’s offense.
The thing is, Davis isn’t a train wreck offensively because of a lack of talent or skill. It’s because of his aforementioned bad shot selection. Davis’ outing against the Minnesota Timberwolves (28 points on 13-for-17 shooting from the floor) further drives that point home.
Davis had his best offensive performance of the season because he eschewed midrange jumpers in favor of shots at the rim. Davis’ shot chart is what you’d like to see from a big man with a strong inside game.
The thing is, Davis didn’t do anything special. Many times, Davis leaked out in transition, which allowed him to score many easy baskets, and the Timberwolves never adjusted. And in half-court sets, instead of settling for jumpers as it is usually his custom, Davis made a concerted effort to attack the basket off the dribble.
Davis scored 20 of his 28 points on 10-for-11 shooting in the second half and, alongside strong second half defense from the Magic (holding Minnesota to 31.9 percent shooting from the floor after allowing 61 points in the first half), was one of the driving forces behind Orlando’s come-from-behind win after trailing by as many as 15 points midway through the third quarter.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this game, aside from the fact that the Magic won a season-high third consecutive game, is that Davis is his own worst enemy offensively. These types of performances on offense shouldn’t be expected on a nightly basis, but there’s no reason why Davis isn’t capable of taking the same approach every game.
Who knows if Davis will ever realize that.
MVP (Most Valuable Player)
“Big Baby” played big against the Timberwolves, putting up an efficient 28 points and delivering a fired-up post-game interview. It’s true that Davis’ decision-making offensively deserves scrutiny a lot of times, but never his heart and hustle.
J.J. Redick had 18 points (8-for-12 shooting from the floor) and seven assists coming off the bench, providing the lightning to Davis’ thunder on offense and letting out a Ric Flair “wooo!” after each made three-pointer.
Trailing 68-53 with 7:54 left in the third quarter following a Luke Ridnour three-pointer, Orlando outscored Minnesota 49-25 the rest of the way thanks to stifling defense and Davis’ offensive explosion.