TORONTO - Ed Davis knew he would have to hit the weights hard in order to build off of a solid rookie campaign.
Davis’ father, Terry, a former NBA bruiser, told a Raptors scribe late last season that Ed would be “sleeping in the weight room.”
Mission accomplished. The University of North Carolina product said he used his extended time in the gym in Los Angeles wisely.
Davis, who said he finished the season weighing a slight 216 pounds, now seems more equipped to battle with the league’s burly veterans.
“I got to like 236 (pounds) at one point, I’m probably like 233, 234, somewhere in there now,” Davis told the Toronto Sun.
With no true centre on the roster aside from the very raw Solomon Alabi and since Andrea Bargnani is expected to move back to his more comfortable power forward position, the 6-foot-10 Davis might find himself manning the middle on some nights depending on what happens in free agency.
Davis, who averaged 7.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and a block in 24 minutes per game and was jobbed out of a spot on the all-rookie team, said he had a “a couple of goals written down” for himself, but would not reveal them.
Davis missed training camp and the pre-season in 2010-11 due to a freak injury and said he was understandably pleased to be healthy to start the campaign and to finally have the lockout behind him.
Source: Toronto Sun
1) We didnt get Bayless until the 2nd half of last year, and he never started until the last month during which he played his best ball.
2) Demar only kicked it into the next level in the 2nd half of the year, and barbosa struggled with injuries the whole year.
3) We only picked up James Johnson at the trade deadline and he filled up the stat sheet, Kleiza was injured most of last year.
4) Andrea Bargnani wasnt playing his natural position, now he will be.
5) Ed Davis is 20 lbs heavier and big enough to play the 5, so now we actually have someone that protects the rim. All accounts say that Alabi has improved too, and he is a defensive player.
Last year our starting lineup at the beginning of the season was:
C- Evans (we were doing good with Reggie at the 5 until he got hurt)
Now our starting line up should look like this:
SF- James Johnson
C- Ed Davis
Slightly different with each player coming in stronger, in better shape, and more mature than last year... I think its exciting.
Ed Davis weighted 227 lbs at the draft combine so unless he lost about 12 pounds during last season. A season where he was injured for most of it. Spent most of the time working out cause he couldn't put any pressure on his knee, so technically he only gained 8 pounds. Its probably all muscle looking at this footage from this summer.
His number 34 in white and than number 33 in red
His Draftexpress profile showing his weight after the draft combine
And while JJ does fill up the stat sheet, that doesn't exactly equate to wins.
And, yes, Bargnani will be playing the PF position. Again, how does that equate to more wins?
And while Davis adding muscle will definitely help, you know he was on the floor last year, too? The center doesn't really protect the rim and more than the PF. This seems to be a point you ignore when I make it.
I had him on multiple fantasy teams so needless to say I looked at his player card often. He was listed as 215lbs all season on multiple sites. They might only update that stuff once a year before the season starts.
The fact that he himself is getting out news of 17lbs of added mass would cause one to think the 215lbs number posted on many sites is what he was last season and heading into the summer. Last year he looked lean all season.
I believe Bargnani's numbers will improve at the PF position because that is his "natural" position and he obviously will play better if he is more comfortable there. That doesn't seem like rocket science to me... just saying.
About whether or not the Center position is more crucial than the PF position in terms of protecting the rim:
Joel Anthony -----> Partner PF (Chris Bosh)
Andrew Bynum -----> Partner PF (Pau Gasol)
Tyson Chandler -----> Partner PF (Dirk Nowitzki)
Jason Collins --------> Partner PF (Josh Smith)
Marc Gasol ---------> Partner PF (Zack Randolph)
Joakim Noah --------> Partner PF (Carlos Boozer)
Jermaine O'Neal ---------> Partner PF (Kevin Garnett)
Kendrick Perkins --------> Partner PF (Serge Ibaka)
Thats a list of the eight teams that won at least one round in the playoffs and who their partner PF was. One theme is very common, the Center is a VERY defensive player only Marc Gasol who averages 12 pts a game can be considered an offensive threat at this time. Another theme that is outstanding is that the PF who they play with is usually a very offensive player, only Ibaka is an exception to this (averaging 9 pts a game). In most cases the PF is not known for their defense AT ALL, the exceptions to this are Josh Smith, and Kevin Garnett. Others might be decent defenders but are not known for their defense. Notice guys like Chris Bosh and Dirk Nowitzki (PF's of the two teams that made it to the finals) are not great defenders but their teams thrived when they were paired up with defensive players at the C.
So please ... do not say that I ignore this point I never really considered it to valid of a criticism on your part. Do not dismiss the effect of a defensive Center on your team defense. Outside of the PG position the C is the most crucial defensive position, sure PF is important but not as important as the C.
If I am right and Bayless can keep guys in front of him better than Calderon, and we fill our C spot with a shot blocker (Ed Davis) I think those two adjustments along with a defensive fanatic like Dwayne Casey as our head coach, should be enough to take us from last in defense to middle of the pack in defense. Thats how important I think PG and C are to our defense.
And if we become a middle of the pack defensive team, I dont think its unrealistic to think we can slip into the playoffs as the 7th or 8th seed. Tanking FTW.
When you consider Bargnani, Barbosa, Calderon, and A Johnson carried injuries significant enough to eventually sideline them, it's not surprising a team with not much depth like the Raptors lost a lot a games in the last month and a half.
And the fact is that teams like Chicago, who have below average PFs defensively, struggled in the playoffs when they were on the floor a lot of the time. The other team simply took advantage of their weakness.
And one reason there are so many defensive centers is because there are so few 7 footers who can score and not hurt their team on the other end. To be successful, you generally need at least one big man who commands double teams, and there are a lot more good offensive PFs than center.
As for your assertion that PG is the second most important position defensively, history says differently. Plenty of teams have won Championships with PGs that were average or even below average defensively. Teams with even one below average big man defensively who have won Championships are EXTREMELY scarce. Dirk, despite his reputation as I've said, is actually a decent defender, mostly because he understand team defense. And Bosh is actually a better defender than a lot of Raptor fans have given him credit for- I, for one, never understood that criticism.
Besides, simply becoming a middle of the pack defensive team isn't going to win 20 more games for them. New Jersey was in the middle of the pack defensively. The Clippers, Philly and Charlotte were actually better than average, defensively, and none of them were close to making the playoffs. And all three of those teams have MUCH better defenders than the Raptors do.
I just think you're setting yourself up to be disappointed. Besides, that territory you're talking about is exactly where the Raptors have been for most of their 16 years existence. I just don't see why you want to see more of that, since it has certainly not been successful for them.
1. Calderon would finally be healthy, he and Jack would form another great PG tandem.
2. DeMar had really worked on his handle and his shot, was scoring a lot in the pre-season, was really going to break out (this one was at least partially correct).
3. Kleiza was going to help space the floor, was a great pickup, etc etc.
4. Bargs would be better with Bosh gone.
5. Reggie Evans would give them a leader, would impart some toughness, and the team would improve defensively with him on the floor.
Now obviously these things don't all correlate directly, my point is simply that in the pre-season fans never seem to account for injuries and assume that every player on the team is going to take a big step forward or play to their potential. Never, ever works out that way.
You look at the new starting lineup and see youth, athletic ability and talent, but what you ignore is their collective inexperience. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to see who will step up, but we go through this same song and dance of high expectations and sobering realities every season.
While Amir Johnson was more efficient, I don't think anyone would expect him to continue at the same efficiency if he had a usage rate of 20% or more. Consider a line-up of Ed Davis, Amir Johnson, James Johnson, Demar DeRozan, and Jose Calderon (another efficient player), what are their usage rate when on the floor?
Unless Casey decides to continue to have Bargnani defend the opposing team's least productive big man, he's going to facer better players. And if he does defend the least productive big man, then there's really not going to be much of a difference from last season.
I could care less that people on this forum were optimistic last year, why wouldnt they be, they are fans. I dont think their is anything wrong with that. You never heard me say "that the raptors are gonna win the championship this year" that is unrealistic, saying "I think the raptors will become a good team this year" is what every fan should be saying if you ask me.
I think he added 17 pounds of ink. Those are some truly horrific tattoos. He has stink lines all over his stomach! Yikes.
Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
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