2. Davis’ big night has a strange finish
Brooklyn Nets backup center Ed Davis had one of his best offensive nights of the season Sunday against the Phoenix Suns, scoring 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting in 24 minutes.
That’s just two points off his season-high of 17 points in a road loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Nov. 21.
Davis also had nine rebounds, four on the offensive glass, and did some terrific defensive work with three steals, matching his career-high.
But the game ended oddly for Davis as Phoenix coach Igor Kokoskov opted to have his team intentionally foul Davis off the ball in the fourth quarter before the game clock hit the two-minute mark.
They dinged Davis twice and the strategy worked after a fashion, as Davis made just one of his four foul shots. A third foul by rookie Deandre Ayton inside the final two minutes could have been a violation of the NBA’s recent rule change regarding off-ball fouls late in games.
But instead the officials ruled that Davis, who was moving in preparation of setting a screen for Spencer Dinwiddie, was part of the play when Ayton blatantly wrapped both arms around Davis’ waist when he was still eight or so feet away from Dinwiddie’s defender.
Davis clanked both of those attempts, finishing the night 1-for-7 at the line, knocking his percentage on the season to 55.2 percent. He entered the season as a career 57.9 percent foul shooter.
It’s really the only red check mark on Davis’ resume as a player. He has a vast array of interior scoring moves, as he’s shooting 61.4 percent, with all but two of his attempts inside of 10 feet.
He’s a terrific rebounder, leading the NBA with a 16.5 offensive rebounding percentage and is second in the NBA with an overall rebound percentage of 22.2 percent.
Davis has shown flashes of deft passing skills, is a solid low-post defender who is better than most bigs at defending smaller players on the perimeter after switches.
But as a free throw shooter, he can be a liability. Let’s just hope Kokoskov’s ploy doesn’t catch on.