Ed Davis was very effective when he was on the floor Friday night, playing physical defense against Nikola Jokic and Mason Plumlee in the post and getting rebounds as always.
The problem was the whole “on the floor” thing, as Davis picked up six fouls in just 16 minutes, including two in the first 1:11 of the fourth quarter that ended his night early.
He’s a physical player and can look a bit lumbering at times, two things that can often lead to whistles. But Davis also has a tendency to play a lot with his hands, both defensively and even as a screener at the offensive end and it was that tendency that came up to bite him on Friday.
DeMarre Carroll looked like a guy who hadn’t played in more than a month because, hey, he was a guy who hadn’t played in more than a month after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle on Oct. 16.
As returns go, Carroll’s wasn’t bad — his shot looked rusty but comfortable, his ability to draw contact with subtle fakes was in full effect (much to the chagrin of Jamal Murray) and defensively he was as Junk Yard Dog as ever.
This was his first game back and we can expect Carroll to get more playing time going forward as he adjusts to game speed once again.
He’s an important piece for the Nets — lest we forget, he led the team in minutes per game last season and was the club’s second-leading scorer among qualifiers — and his versatile, switchable defensive skills will be big for the Nets moving forward this season.