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Thread: Hardwood Paroxysm: Ed Davis - Nobody said it would be easy

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Default Hardwood Paroxysm: Ed Davis - Nobody said it would be easy

    While Kyrie Irving, John Wall and Paul George were hitting threes and dunking all over the place in the Rising Stars Challenge in Orlando last night, Ed Davis was chilling in Toronto. Heading into his sophomore season, it wasn’t supposed to be like this. Davis earned lofty expectations with the way he finished his rookie campaign, averaging 13 points, nine rebounds, and 58% shooting in 34 minutes a game in April. This year, under coach Dwane Casey, he’s down to six and six on 49% shooting in under 23 minutes. These numbers mean Davis can’t act surprised that the league’s assistant coaches deemed 21 others more deserving. “I take it as motivation, “ he said. “With the shortened season and the new coach, it’s been somewhat of a tougher transition than some of the other guys or whatever, but I’m learning from it.”

    Suiting up against the Pistons this past Wednesday, Davis encountered more than a familiar face — he found himself looking into the eyes of a man he’s looked up to since he was five years old. To say that Ben Wallace is close to Davis’ family isn’t strong enough for Wallace. “We are family,” Wallace firmly proclaimed. “Me and his father was like brothers.” Not only were Wallace and Terry Wizards teammates, they were both undrafted out of Virginia Union and live nearby in Richmond, VA. “He’s like my nephew,” Wallace said of Davis. “I’ve been knowing him almost all his life and been around him for so long, so I consider him family.” Wallace first envisioned Davis as a pro when he was in high school. “I’d seen how close he started to hang out with his daddy,” he said. “They used to work out together, get up in the morning and go run a couple of miles. For a high school kid, that’s huge to be able to have that type of discipline where you’re going to get up in the morning and go run.”

    Nowadays the tough love comes from his coach. Casey compares the UNC alum’s on-court demeanor to a fellow lefty Tar Heel, Sam Perkins, whose first coach as a pro once called him a sleepy-eyed sucker. While Casey coached “Sleepy Sam” or “Big Smooth” as a veteran in Seattle, his treatment of Davis is more in line with the way Perkins was disciplined as a youngster. When I remark about how easily the game comes to Davis at times, Casey responds, “It’s too easy!” He sees Davis as a special athlete, but he won’t rave about his season so far. “I think it’s been solid. Not great, but solid,” Casey said. “He’s just got to do it at a high rate every time when he’s on the floor. That’s what we’re shooting for, that’s what we’re looking for from Ed.”

    “He wants the best out of you, so he’s going to be tough on you,” Davis said of his coach, who called him in for a one-on-one sit-down after a particularly poor road trip in January. “He don’t want nothing to be handed to you, you gotta earn everything… He’s really going to be tough on the guys that he cares about, you know? It’s like a family, so he’s tough on me. He’ll admit that, I’ll admit that, but it only makes me more hungry and makes me better.”

    Speak with Casey and it’s rapidly apparent how much he cares. “I love Ed — beautiful young man, great kid. He’s what the NBA is about,” he said.

    “He’s a very intelligent young man,” Casey continued. “He’s very worldly. He’s well-raised, his mom and dad did a heck of a job of raising him. But at the same time, I told his mom and his dad that I’m going to be hard on him because I see all the potential. Believe me, it’s nothing personal and I tell Ed all the time I love him. But I’m going to get on him when he screws up. And I want to push him. He’s a guy that, if he didn’t have it, I wouldn’t waste my time or waste his time. But he has so much potential within him that I’m going to continue to push him and to help him get where he wants to go in this league.”

    Reaching your potential isn’t just about being at the right place at the right time. It isn’t about milestones, mentors or mottos. It’s work. Davis ran with his NBA dad before high school classes, endured Roy Williams practices in college and had breakfast with Charles Oakley last summer. He has every reason not to be the cliche “he was too talented for his own good” guy. Let’s check in on him a year from now and focus not just on the jumper. Let’s see if he’s doing the little things.
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    Raptors Republic Starter Raptorsss's Avatar
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    Here's to hoping, that Ed continues towards his potential.
    -"You canít run from me. I mean, my heart donít bleed Kool-Aid."
    -"ďI ainít no diva! I donít have no blond hair, red hair. Iím Reggie Evans.Ē

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    Raptors Republic Veteran ceez's Avatar
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    Love me some Ed. He'll bounce back.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    Great read. Thanks for posting it. That part about Casey being tough on him because he see's the potential had me thinking about coach Popovich's relationship with Tony Parker in the early days. He was always screaming at the guy and really tough on him especially, but was for good reason because he saw all that potential and was trying to get the guy to play the right way. Hopefully Casey can get that out of Ed.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    I had no idea there was a connection with Ben Wallace. It's hard to think of a better player for Davis to emulate when it comes to defense/rebounding.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Raptors Republic Superstar TheGloveinRapsUniform's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    i may be stating the obvious here, but i think whats really setting Ed back is the way he's splitting time with Amir.

    One of them really has to go.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie Phat Farmer's Avatar
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    I think Ed is the one holding himself back. I'm not sure if he just assumed coming into this year he'd be given x amount of playing time, but he seemed to lack passion/fire coming into the season. People will say Ed have a quiet demeanor and he doesn't exude passion and fire, but last year coming back from his injury he seemed hungry and wanting to prove something. With his extra playing time recently, I can see that coming back. I hope the start to his season pisses him off, and he has a good 2nd half. I really want Ed to do well, I can see it in him. A good 2nd half and a summer spent re-working his shot as well as putting on some bulk will do him just fine.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star hateslosing's Avatar
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    It's articles like this that make me want to just give Ed the keys and see if he can develop into a star. We get a quote from one of the great big men defenders of our time, Ben Wallace, talking about how he sees him as a nephew. We get Casey talking about how he sees massive potential and loves the guy. We here about how he is learning from this season and wants to get even better. A lot of it is probably fluff but it gives you a nice feeling.
    "When Life gives you lemons, you clone those Lemons to make super lemons!"
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    Raptors Republic Rookie Jon_Wade's Avatar
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    I think when Bargnani starts to decline Ed will just be in the middle of his peak so that the two can switch their roles (okay maybe Bargnani gets more of a role than ed has now) that way we still have a great shot when Val, Demar and our draft pick this year will all be in their primes as well
    Whoever told you skies the limit is looking dumb because I'm 22 and i'm moonwalking on the sun.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    It's entirely possible that everyone in Toronto is simply over-valuing Davis, and in reality, he may not be good enough to be a starting PF in this league.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Super Moderator thead's Avatar
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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    It's entirely possible that everyone in Toronto is simply over-valuing Davis, and in reality, he may not be good enough to be a starting PF in this league.


    I never really saw him starting he would be a great 3rd big playing 30 minutes a game

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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    It's entirely possible that everyone in Toronto is simply over-valuing Davis, and in reality, he may not be good enough to be a starting PF in this league.
    The Raptors drafted him without working him out first because they assumed he would be picked before their turn. Who knows, maybe teams which worked him out saw something we missed.

    I believe Ed Davis is talented enough to eventually play 26 to 32 mpg, be it as a starter or first big of the bench. I don't see the high basketball IQ that others are seeing in him. What I see is a player who reacts on instinct but has a hard time learning his role in a defensive system. I like him though and I will continue to root for him to get it and hopefully put on 15 pounds of muscle.

  13. #13
    Raptors Republic Starter Papa Burgundy's Avatar
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    One fact that doesn't equate to anything at this exact moment, is how highly people speak of Ed ... Hearing Casey and Ben Wallace talk about his fabric as a young man, hard worker, etc - adds an intangible element leaving reason for optimism
    The only way to bag a classy lady is to give her two tickets to the gun show... and see if she likes the goods.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star ebrian's Avatar
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    I like reading about these kinds of intimate interactions between player and coach.. thanks for posting.
    your pal,
    ebrian

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