Utah Jazz: Midseason report card for Ed Davis

The Utah Jazz signing Ed Davis looked to be one of the more under-rated acquisitions of the off-season. Unfortunately, it’s been a flop halfway through the season.

Ed Davis is a respected veteran around the NBA. He’s played for many teams and has played an important role on those teams as a guy who just cleans the glass and plays hard. Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers has said on multiple occasions that Davis is his favorite teammate of all-time.

So when Davis signed a two-year, $10 million dollar contract with the Jazz, the reception was applauded all around. Unfortunately, Davis is in the midst of his worst season as a pro. He’s averaging a mere 1.3 points per game on 36.7-percent shooting from the field.

How the heck did this happen? Well, the fit might not be too good after all.

Offense

Ed Davis has never been an offensive player, but that hasn’t stopped him from chipping in 6.3 points per game for his career. Whether it’s off an open dunk or a tip-in off a miss, Davis is always active around the basket. With the Jazz primarily running pick-and-roll, Davis hasn’t been able to contribute much offensively.

The Jazz also shoot a ton of threes, and shoot it well. That being said, long three-point shots lead to long rebounds. There haven’t been many put-back chances for Ed this year, and that’s also prevented him from scoring.

As stated earlier, Davis is averaging 1.3 points per game on 36.7-percent shooting. He has provided no offense and hasn’t been able to make up for it on the defensive end of the floor. Davis kind of reminds me of former Jazz center Ekpe Udoh. Ekpe couldn’t do much offensively either, but did manage to shoot over 57-percent during his two years in Utah.

Defense

Ed Davis isn’t bad defensively. Part of why fans were so excited about the addition was because last season with the Brooklyn Nets, Davis ranked second in Defensive Real Plus-Minus. Rudy Gobert was the only player ahead of him.

However, this season his defense has not redeemed his offense. He hasn’t been bad, but hasn’t been great either. He’s under-sized for a center and relatively thin framed, so he can have a tough time guarding opposing bigs that are massive, like Joel Embiid.

Back to Defensive Real Plus-Minus. Davis is a -0.99, which ranks 48th among 58 centers. Tony Bradley, who has taken his rotation spot, ranks higher and is a -0.59.

Davis isn’t getting it done on either ends of the court.

Overall, Davis has been a disappointment. I do think he can turn it around if he gets back in the rotation, but I don’t think he can produce to the best of his potential on this team. It just isn’t the greatest fit for him. Tony Bradley has been solid, but I am hoping Davis gets another shot in the rotation.

Next: Game thread: Utah Jazz take on dismantled Warriors

He appears firmly in Quin Snyder’s dog house, though. He can’t even get into games for garbage time. Bradley played the garbage time minutes at center in their win over Indiana on Monday.

Final Grade: D

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