Brooklyn Nets Morning Dish: Ed Davis a two-way contributor

Brooklyn Nets Ed Davis (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Ed Davis (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images) /

In the Monday edition of the Brooklyn Nets Morning Dish, we learn that backup center Ed Davis is getting it done on two fronts for the Nets.

It’s a somewhat somber Monday edition of the Brooklyn Nets Morning Dish, not so much in the content as in the mood of the creator after the Nets coughed up another late lead, this time to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Brian Lewis of the New York Post looked at the value veteran center Ed Davis has brought to the Nets, with his contributions on the floor as well as his role as mentor/teacher to young big man Jarrett Allen.

Davis signed a one-year deal with Brooklyn for the biannual exception of $4.49 million and have given the Nets something this season they certainly lacked last season — depth in the middle.

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Davis, in his ninth NBA season, has appeared in all 21 games for Brooklyn thus far, making one start when Allen was sidelined by an illness, and is delivering big numbers in small minutes.

He’s averaging 6.1 points and 8.0 rebounds in just 17.0 minutes per game, shooting a career-best 63.5 percent along the way.

Despite the limited minutes, Davis has two double-doubles this season.

And what he’s done to help Allen improve has been solid as well. Allen’s numbers are up markedly this season from 8.2 to 12.4 points, 5.4 to 8.4 rebounds and 1.2 to 1.6 blocks per game.

Some of that can be attributed to an increase in minutes (from 20.0 to 27.4 a night), but a lot is also the improvements Allen has made.

Coach Kenny Atkinson didn’t hold back in his praise for Davis’ off-the-court contributions.

"“He’s coaching when you’re not coaching. Great influence on our young guys. I’ve seen Ed take (Allen) aside after practice, before practice, talking post defense.“These [vets], they have the nuances. They understand the game. He’s been a great influence not only on Jarrett Allen but our whole group.”"

Davis said his role with Allen wasn’t explicit when he agreed to come to Brooklyn, but rather just an understanding of what he was walking into.

"“When I signed here, (general manager Sean Marks) didn’t say, ‘We want you to mentor Jarrett Allen.’“But I’m an intelligent guy and I think Sean knew that by doing his diligence and his homework and whatnot. I wasn’t going to come in here like, ‘Oh, [crap], I’m trying to start, I’m trying to take his minutes.'”"

Davis does the dirty work and those lessons aren’t lost on Allen. The veteran is in the top 10 in the NBA in screen assists per 36 minutes and leads the league in box outs per 36.

Jefferson remembers good old days, even if he didn’t want to be here

Richard Jefferson‘s name appears all over the Brooklyn Nets franchise leaderboard after the seven seasons he spent with the club in New Jersey.

In a Q&A with Michael Scotto of The Athletic (subscription required), Jefferson recalled his trepidation at coming to New Jersey after being taken 13th overall by the Houston Rockets in the 2001 NBA Draft.

Jefferson was traded along with two other first-round selections, Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong, from Houston to the Nets in exchange for the rights to No. 7 overall pick Eddie Griffin.

The Nets were coming off a 26-win season, but would soon add Jason Kidd to the mix. With Kidd, Jefferson reached back-to-back NBA Finals in his first two seasons and later formed a small but effective Big 3 in conjunction with Kidd and Vince Carter.

And, apparently, partying in New York was a favorite pastime as well.

Jefferson retired this offseason after 17 years in the NBA, winning that elusive NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

Harris just gonna Harris

Joe Harris was the hottest shooter in the NBA for much of the first month of the season, at one point holding a 3-point percentage in the high 50s and leading the NBA.

He’s cooled off considerably of late and after going 1-for-5 from long range in Sunday’s loss to the 76ers is at 43.8 percent on the season.

After watching Harris seem as if he was never going to miss, it almost feels disappointing that he succumbed to the inevitable regression to the mean.

In spite of that, Harris is shooting nearly two percentage points better than last season, when he set a career-high at 41.9 percent.

The fifth-year veteran readily acknowledges that he was once hot, now is not, and it doesn’t change his approach at all. He told Newsday‘s Greg Logan:

"“I take a lot of the same shots, regardless of the game. Sometimes I make four; sometimes I miss seven. I still take them with the same amount of confidence like I’ve made 10 in a row.“That’s what I’m out there to do — shoot the ball, space the floor. If I’m not shooting, I’m not doing my role to help the team win.”"

Harris’ lone make from deep was a huge one, a bomb from above the break that regained the lead for Brooklyn in the final minute against the Philadelphia 76ers.

A full-time starter since early in the preseason, Harris has almost matched his previous career total in games started (26 in his first four seasons, including 14 last year).

He is also putting up the best numbers of his career, averaging 13.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 29.2 minutes per game while posting a slash line of .490/.438/.800.

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Harris has improved his numbers in each of his three seasons with the Nets after being pulled off the scrap heap by general manager Sean Marks in the summer of 2016, after the former second-round pick had been waived by the Orlando Magic in January of that year.