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Season in Review: The enigma that is Deyonta Davis

Who is Deyonta Davis as a basketball player?

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Check out previous entries in the Season in Review series here.

Deyonta Davis 2017-2018 Stats

Points per game Rebounds Assists Steals Field Goal % Free throw %
Points per game Rebounds Assists Steals Field Goal % Free throw %
5.8 3.2 0.4 0.2 59% 67%

Deyonta Davis coming into his second year of his rookie contract was expected to see little playing time, continue to develop, and hopefully eventually be the third big off the bench for the Memphis Grizzlies. As we all know, the plans changed rather quickly when the season for the team took a bad turn and players who thought they might ride the bench were thrust into more playing time than they were used to. In his first year in the league, Davis averaged 6.6 minutes in just 36 games for the team and in his second year, he averaged 15 minutes in 62 games. That is over double the minutes and games from his first to second year, which is a huge jump for a player like Deyonta Davis.

This was a great thing for Davis, he was never going to get that amount of playing time and experience with the Grizzlies being good and him sitting on the bench.

The Best

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Lakers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The best thing that could have happened for Deyonta Davis, actually happened, and that is just playing time and being able to be on the court with other NBA players to get experience in situations. He was never going to be able to do that on the bench watching Marc Gasol. Deyonta Davis shot a whopping 60 percent from the field in just over four attempts per game. He did not take a lot of shots but he was effective with the ones that he did take. At the end of the season he was a lot more confident in taking his shot when he was open, something that he did not at the beginning of the year. He developed chemistry with other teammates and they started to look to get him a lob over the top of the defense more down the stretch of the season.

Rebounding is another of Deyonta Davis’ strengths, and that is what the Grizzlies needed from him this season and going forward. Rebound the ball well when he is on the floor and be effective in your shots.

The Worst

Deyonta still seemingly suffers from, at least from outward appearance, the lack of willingness to want to be good at basketball. When he is on the court he looks like the most disinterested in the building (and that includes the fans). Having the talent to play in the NBA is one thing, but having the drive and will to continually be good is something else altogether.

Davis was not great at defense either this year, playing more minutes was great for him, but it had its drawbacks. He continued to look lost on defense on multiple possessions in a row and got beat by bigger players all the time.

Ways to Improve

Davis has to improve on his defense and rebound consistently to be able to stay on the court all the time and to be able to be effective with the Grizzlies. He needs to want to be in the game, stay focused, and move better on the defensive end than he did this year.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Overall Grade

Deyonta Davis got the playing time that he needed this year to continue to develop. He was never going to get any better by sitting on the bench, and so a byproduct of this season was him getting more minutes. He was better in some aspects than he was in his rookie season or in summer league.

Although he was improved in some areas, he still has a long way to go to contribute to the team on a nightly basis. There are several aspects of his game that are intruiging but still need more development.


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