By Ryan McNeill
Apparently Ed Davis didn’t get the memo that he should quake in fear while playing against the mighty Blake Griffin. Toronto’s own talented rookie followed up a career-high 13 rebounds on Friday with 14 rebounds in 36 minutes off the bench on Sunday.
And yes, playing against Griffin was personal.
“I think everything’s personal,” Davis admitted to a group of reporters huddled around his locker after the game last night. “If you’ve got an all-star you’re going against, I think it is personal.”
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After the game his head coach, Jay Triano, was quick to admit that his players were probably sick of hearing about how great Griffin has been playing this year and none of them wanted to be on the wrong end of one of his dunks.
“You listen to enough people talk about Blake Griffin, I think it gets our guys fired up to play him and try to stop him,” Triano told the media after the game. “They don’t want to be the recipient of him dunking on them or making plays on them.”
Granted, a big reason why Davis secured to many minutes was due to Amir Johnson finding himself in foul trouble early on in the game, but even in the fourth quarter when Johnson could have returned it was the rookie who got the chance to close out a close game and help Toronto secure a much-needed win.
“Down the stretch I went with Ed (Davis) because he was playing very well,” Jay Triano gushed to the media last night. “I thought he caused Blake (Griffin) some problems. He showed him a couple of different looks and he blocked I think two or three shots. He had another career-high in rebounds and he played a lot of quality minutes for us.”
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It’s one thing to do what you need to do in order to not be embarrassed, it’s another thing entirely to do the little things on the court in order to help your team win games. While the career-high 14 rebounds and three blocks is what catches the attention of casual fans, it’s the 14 points Toronto scored off second chance points created from offensive rebounds that Davis snagged.
Even if casual fans didn’t notice his starting point guard sure did.
“It was a really great game for him and he helped us win tonight,” Jose Calderon raved to HOOPSADDICT.com after the game.
It’s rare for a rookie big man to garner that kind of praise but with the way Davis has been playing over his past month it’s only a matter of time before coaches, players and fans around the NBA start to take notice of the impressive rookie season Davis is putting together for the Raptors.
It’s a shame coaches around the league didn’t notice in time to help Davis warrant a spot in the Rookie-Sophomore game this weekend alongside Griffin.