Magic's Davis: Will adjust after coach's criticism

By Kyle Hightower

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Jan. 5 2012 3:33 p.m. MST

ORLANDO, Fla. — When the Orlando Magic traded for Glen "Big Baby" Davis they were looking to not only help out center Dwight Howard but acquire a player from a winning culture in Boston.

So far the Magic have seen only flashes of the role player Davis was with the Celtics. After Orlando's win over Washington on Wednesday night, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy questioned whether the 290-pound forward had "his mind on the right things."

Last season, Davis averaged 11.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 29.5 minutes. He has slumped to 6.9 points (33 percent shooting), 3.9 rebounds and 22.3 minutes in his first seven games with the Magic since signing a four-year, $26 million deal last month.

After practice Thursday, Van Gundy said the two spoke some more, and the coach hopes this is the start of Davis turning a corner. The Magic begin a 20-day stretch Friday in which they face six teams that made the playoffs last year.

"What we talked about was just Glen doing the things that have made him a very good and more importantly a winning NBA player," Van Gundy said. "And I think he's sort of been sidetracked into — maybe because he hasn't been shooting the ball well — getting concerned about numbers and things like that.

"That's hard for guys like him in this league because there are other guys who will get great attention because of the numbers they put up. A lot of what Glen does, he can certainly get numbers, but a lot of what he does will never show up on a stat sheet."

Van Gundy was referring to the "dirty work" — taking charges, diving for loose balls, setting screens.

"I think what happens sometimes is here comes a guy to a new team and he wants to make a great impression, wants to make a big splash and so he's trying to do some things to make that impression that are not what he's really all about," he said.

He said Davis has never been a player "searching for his offense" and that has changed in his short time with the Magic. Davis said he's taken Van Gundy's words to heart and understands the coach's concerns.

"I'm basically just getting used to my new surroundings and it takes time," Davis said. "I was with (the Celtics) for four years and won a championship with that team and it's a different culture here. I just have to work the kinks out. I'm just going to keep my composure and do what I need to do and perform the way I know that I can perform. I put a lot of pressure on myself and what you see out there is me wanting to do more. But I can't let it not flow."

Davis was beaten out for the starting job in preseason by Ryan Anderson, who is averaging 19.7 points and against the Wizards had 23 points and 15 rebounds in a 103-85 victory. Anderson is also the NBA leader in 3-pointers made (25) and attempted (55).

"I'm not a Ryan Anderson and I'm not going to be shooting 3s," Davis said. "I have to get closer and watching film Stan has helped me realize that. You'll see a difference in my 22-foot jump shot turning into my 15-foot jump shot."

Davis acknowledged that seeing Brandon Bass' fast start in Boston hasn't helped his own transition in Orlando. Bass is averaging 14.0 point and 6.6 rebounds in 27.7 minutes.

"Most definitely there's a temptation to want to do well," Davis said. "You see Brandon Bass and you see Ryan Anderson, who is doing great and you want to contribute because you know you can. But sometimes putting pressure on yourself isn't good and you end up doing the opposite. I just have to slow down and let the game come to me and make sure that I play my game how I know how to play it."

Howard, who has played against Davis since they were teens and has lobbied to see the Magic bring him in, said he also has spoken with Davis about doing just that.

"Just keep playing," Howard said. "You're going to have points in the season where you struggle. No matter where that may be — offense, defense or whatever. ... But you can't dwell on it. You just got to keep playing the way you know how to play. I just tell him keep shooting. Do whatever you got to do, but keep doing it."

Davis has had just nine real practices with the Magic. He says the more time he has with the team the more he will fit in.

He also said that facing a post player like Chicago's Carlos Boozer will be an opportunity to show what he can do.

"It'll be great to see the real me," Davis said. "I know what I have to do and it's just about going out there, taking my time and doing it. It's not that that I'm confused; I'm the kid at the candy store wanting to do more, more, more. I just have to slow down and embrace everything and mentally get right."

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