Steve Bulpett has an insightful article on Big Baby today. Some highlights:
“He’s playing the right way,” Paul Pierce said. “He has the right attitude and the right spirit, and that’s good for a player in his second year. He just has to get his confidence.
“I think he gets down on himself a lot. He did a lot of great things for us last year, and we’re just trying to get him back to doing those same things. He can get offensive rebounds and putbacks, and he’s even hitting the jumper for us. It’s just about getting his confidence. He’s been up and down, and we just need to get him consistent.”
One of Doc's biggest strengths is his ability to handle players. If you consider the fact that every player is unique and has to be handled differently, you can appreciate how difficult a task that can be.
Just from an outsiders perspective, I think that it is clear that too much negative feedback presented in the wrong way creates very poor results from Davis. So Doc is trying to instruct him and point out areas he needs to work on while peppering his instruction with praise and encouragement.
“Not only does he have size, but he also has basketball IQ,” Rivers said. “When he doesn’t let the emotional side override his basketball IQ, he’s a very solid player. He’s worked on his jump shot and that’s starting to fall for him, but he’s got to learn to finish better. Baby’s shooting around 40 percent right now, and a big should never shoot that low.
“Now in his defense, we’re asking him to take more jumpers, but he’s got to do a better job of finishing. He goes to get fouled instead of going to make the shot. What happens is he doesn’t get the foul and he misses the shot.”
Doc has mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Davis is taking those jumpers because the coaching staff wants him to. So even if they aren't falling all the time, the staff sees real value in making that shot a staple in Glen's game. It makes sense too. Davis has the kind of agility and coordination to make a one on one move to the basket from the top of the key (something Powe doesn't have). But if he can't hit that short jumper, the defender can sag off him and that part of his game is canceled out (note: Rondo is quick enough to still get past his man, Davis isn't).
In addition, that shot does help space the floor better. When Davis is subbing in (or starting for) Garnett, he helps fill that role by being able to hit that midrange jumper which keeps defenses from being able to camp out in the lane.
Whatever Glen and Glenn are doing, they need to keep doing it. It is great to see Big Baby mature and grow into his role on this team.