23 January 2015

Why Joshua Davis?

Joshua Davis
What do we know about the current Meralco Bolts import Joshua Davis aside from being nicknamed “Kawhi 2.0” for his rebounding skills and his profound likeness to the 2014 NBA Finals MVP? Why is the Bolts keen on signing him up when he can't even answer the team's need for a natural center?

The questions may be answered if we take a look at the background and numbers of the former San Diego State University (SDSU)forward.

Davis has spent the NBA season with the San Antonio Spurs D-League affiliate, the Austin Spurs. He averaged 13.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game while playing for Austin. Not much, but if taken into consideration on what he can do in the PBA, he may be able to double those outputs if he can just remain focused.

He was invited to the Spurs' training camp in the 2014 preseason after outplaying Noah Vonleh as a member of the Charlotte Hornets' NBA Summer League team. He averaged 8.9 points and 10.1 rebounds, and he recorded double-doubles in three of the seven games.

Davis played the 2013-14 season as a graduate transfer for SDSU after playing two seasons with Tulane and one season with North Carolina State. He averaged 7.7 points and 10.1 rebounds while shooting nearly 46 percent as a member of the 2014 SDSU Sweet 16 team.

The most consistent in all those games that the 6-foot-8 Davis played is his rebounding. He may falter from time to time in the scoring department, but he almost always comes up with double digit rebounding in his games. And that rebounding will be the single most important factor why coach Norman Black is signing him up for the Bolts.

Looking back at the recently concluded All-Filipino campaign, the Bolts ranked only 8th among the 12-team tournament. The two finalists, San Miguel Beermen and Alaska Aces ranked second and fourth, respectively, while Barangay Ginebra topped the list owing to their twin towers, Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter.
Grabbing those loose balls may not be that important if the team is shooting well on the floor. However, in this case, it is not. The Bolts ranked third to the last in ensuring that the ball stays inside the net by shooting only 39.3 percent, which is slightly better than the percentages of newcomers, Blackwater Elite and Kia Sorrento.

As a result, the team can only manage to score 84.2 points per game, which is disappointing when they have the prolific sniper Gary David and former collegiate MVP John Wilson in the roster.

This is the primary reason why Davis was brought in. The Bolts may not be able to defend against the much taller players individually, but as a team that relies more on zone and rotational defense, that may not matter much as long as rebounding is controlled.

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