Why Veteran Ricky Davis' NBA D-League Season Debut Was Better Than Stats Suggest

Kirby Lee, USA Today Sports

Twelve year NBA veteran Ricky Davis may not have had a top notch scoring night in his BayHawks debut, but his effort showed that the swingman is ready to embark on an interesting season.

Though the BayHawks had six players score in double-figures against the Charge on Friday night, Canton (led by former Cavaliers forward Kevin Jones' 15 points and 19 rebounds) still managed to spoil opening night for Erie. With six players of their own in double-figures as well, the Cavaliers' D-League affiliate won the matchup by a score of 102-91.

The Charge's strong attack was backed by the team's well-known reputation as one of the better defensive teams in the league, highlighted by a plethora of depth and hard working grinders. Interestingly enough, however, Erie's roster is highlighted by a handful of bigger names.

Perhaps no name is more well known, nor will any player have a larger basketball resume than twelve year NBA veteran Ricky Davis. Given his background and reputation as a swingman who can pour in the points, it would make sense for most spectactors to assume the former twenty-plus point per game scorer in The Association would hit the ground running and take the entire minor league by storm en route to an impressive comeback.

But alas, Davis' stat-line in his BayHawks debut was a rather modest one. Starting for Erie in the defeat, the veteran swingman added 10 points on 3 of 8 shooting from the field, but also managed to come up with 3 steals and 1 blocked shot on the defensive end.

Truth be told, there are probably more positive things to be taken from Davis' opening night performance, despite the loss and a modest scoring effort. It's safe to say that after failing to stick in the NBA, certain veterans who have graced the NBADL hardwood in the past have visibly resented such an opportunity. The swingman appears to be a different case, however, as he's taking his shot at a second chance in stride.

As the process for evaluating potential talent evolves and things such as analytics are taken into consideration, a player's plus/minus rating is often taken into account as well. Along with plus/minus (aka the impact one has when he's out on the court strutting his stuff for his team), it's sometimes interesting to examine a player's body language as well. A positive demeanor should always be considered a huge plus.

In Davis' case, such an extra pep in his step seemed to translate well on the court. Constantly moving around the perimeter, the 34 year old was aggressive and assertive, displayed smart veteran-like instincts, and helped keep the ball moving for the BayHawks by looking to make that extra hockey assist again and again.

Of course, these very nuances aren't ones that easily show up on the stat-sheet. Still, it was easy to see Davis was putting forth a decent effort. Here's to hoping as he continues to gel with his teammates even more, that same effort will further translate on the court, at the very least, resulting into more victories in the win column, if not some better numbers as well.

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