Brooklyn Nets: Ed Davis’ big effort ends in disappointment

Brooklyn Nets Ed Davis. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Ed Davis. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Ed Davis of the Brooklyn Nets had said he had both games against the Portland Trail Blazers circled on his calendar, but the 1st ended in disappointment.

For Brooklyn Nets backup center Ed Davis, Thursday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers was personal.

Davis had told Michael Scotto of The Athletic earlier this month that he wanted the two games against Portland very badly, given the Trail Blazers didn’t even put up a fight to keep him when he became an unrestricted free agent last summer.

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Davis wound up agreeing very early in the free agency period to accept Brooklyn’s biannual exception at one year and $4.45 million.

Against Portland on Thursday, Davis was his usual hyper-efficient self, finishing with his fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes, but it wasn’t enough as the misfiring Nets fell to the Blazers at Barclays Center 113-99.

On a night when Brooklyn shot just 39.1 percent overall, Davis was the exception to the rule, hitting 6-of-7 from the floor and making all three of his free throws.

One of those statistics isn’t that surprising — Davis is now shooting 62.3 percent overall on the season. The other, however, was. His perfect night at the foul line upped his percentage this season to 59.5 percent.

His rebounding continues to be off the charts for the Nets. Davis is averaging a career-high 8.6 rebounds in just 18.4 minutes per game — a ridiculously good 16.9 boards per 36 minutes.

Davis is third in the league in both offensive and overall rebounding percentage at 14.1 and 22.0, respectively,

Davis and starting center Jarrett Allen combined for some solid numbers in Thursday’s loss, with 27 points and 21 rebounds.

The problem was that Portland’s center tandem of Jusuf Nurkic and Enes Kanter was just too much to handle down low.

Nurkic played 28 minutes and finished with game-highs of 27 points and 12 rebounds. Kanter, making his debut for the Blazers after being signed just before the All-Star break, went for 18 points and nine boards in 20 minutes, hitting 8-of-9 from the floor.

Davis helped the Nets in the first half, playing at a plus-10 while scoring eight points with five rebounds as the two cold-shooting teams played to a 50-50 tie.

The problem for the Nets was that in the third quarter, Portland got hotter and Brooklyn got colder. The Blazers shot 50 percent in the third to just 31.8 percent for the Nets and blew out to a 15-point lead before settling for an 84-72 edge at the quarter break.

It was the fourth straight year the Nets have lost at Barclays Center to the Trail Blazers.

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As for Davis, he’ll have to zero in on March 25 on his calendar. That’s when the Nets visit Moda Center in Portland for the teams’ only other meeting this season.