Ed Davis should be making a return soon as his status has been upgraded to questionable for Friday’s game between the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies.
The Utah Jazz are going through a bit of a rough patch as they’re riding a two-game losing streak against tough Eastern Conference foes in the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers. In the two games before that, the Jazz blew big leads to lackluster teams in the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans, and only just hung on to win.
There have been several issues plaguing the Jazz, but among the most notable has been the struggles of the second unit and the team as a whole whenever Rudy Gobert goes to the bench.
With Ed Davis sidelined due to a fibula fracture, Tony Bradley has taken over as Gobert’s backup. And while Bradley has had some nice moments – most notably in Utah’s most recent win over New Orleans wherein he notched 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting and nine rebounds – he hasn’t consistently been sufficient enough to cover for the Jazz with Rudy on the bench.
In other words, the Jazz have severely missed Ed Davis, who is an experienced veteran that was brought in to be a solid stopgap defender behind Gobert and a prolific rebounder.
He was showing signs of being just that early in the regular season, but unfortunately was only able to play six games before becoming sidelined with the leg fracture. Due to the presumed severity of such an injury, many projected that Davis would be out far longer than the four weeks which were slated as a timeline for his reevaluation. However, Thanksgiving Day left Jazz fans with one more thing to feel grateful for in the form of an encouraging report.
When the Jazz released their injury report for their upcoming road bout against the Memphis Grizzlies, Davis was no longer marked as ‘Out’ and instead was listed as ‘Questionable’:
Now, by no means does this mean he’s guaranteed to play. Not even close. There’s a very good chance that when push comes to shove, Davis will be unable to go in Memphis. However, the fact that he’s been elevated to questionable is a good sign that, even if he doesn’t come back on Friday, his return is extremely imminent.
Having Ed Davis back should prove extremely beneficial for a Jazz team that has needed his size, motor, defense and rebounding in the second unit. His status as questionable coming so soon is a reassuring sign that he has made great progress and will be back in action shortly.
Now, if any are expecting Davis’ return to magically fix the Jazz’s issues, they’re probably in for a rough surprise. Yes, he’s been missed and should help patch up what’s been a gaping hole, but Ed Davis is by no means a fix-all.
The shoddy play of Utah’s point guards, Mike Conley and Emmanuel Mudiay, will require more than a Davis return to reverse itself. And issues like turnovers, selfish basketball and poor decision making aren’t going to be remedied by him alone. Not only that, but Davis only had six regular season games with his new team before getting hurt which means that he’s going to be out of shape and will need some time to once again assimilate with his teammates.
Therefore, don’t expect the Jazz or Davis to instantly propel themselves to a brand new level, just because he’ll be back in the lineup either Friday or very soon thereafter.
Still, there’s no denying that he’s been missed as second unit guys like Emmanuel Mudiay, Jeff Green, Georges Niang and Tony Bradley have faced some struggles of late. The fact that Davis will soon be back in action to provide reinforcement is an encouraging and exciting sign for a Jazz team that desperately needs to get back on track.