NBA update: Brandon Davies earning playing time; other players with local ties play key roles

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 19 2013 3:50 p.m. MST

Philadelphia 76ers power forward Brandon Davies (20) controls the rebound behind Atlanta Hawks power forward Gustavo Ayon (14) in the second half of their NBA basketball game on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, in Atlanta. Atlanta won 113-103. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

Dave Tulis, AP

From being waived by the Los Angeles Clippers to averaging 11 minutes a game for the Philadelphia 76ers, Brandon Davies is easing his way into a potentially fruitful NBA career.

The former BYU center averages 2.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. More important than his stats though, he is getting minutes in Philadelphia.

Monday night, Davies logged a career-high 17 minutes and scored four points and grabbed four rebounds. In Saturday's 135-98 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, Davies recorded a career-high eight rebounds, including three offensive rebounds.

On Monday, The Philadelphia Inquirer published an article on Davies' impact with the 76ers. Despite his unfortunate start to his NBA career, the article reads, he is increasingly making a greater impact for his new team.

In fact, Sixers' coach Brett Brown is more than impressed.

“He’s got a real motor, he’s got a tenacity that you are born with. I love the way he plays," Brown said.

That's good news for Davies who is doing everything he can, including learning new positions, to earn more playing time.

Rant Sports also produced an article on the increase of Davies' minutes in recent games. For example, Davies replaced a struggling Thaddeus Young in the third quarter Monday against the Dallas Mavericks. Although Davies' impact hasn't shown up in his stat line yet, his overall hustle isn't going unnoticed.

WARRIORS' BACKBONE: Former Runnin' Utes center Andrew Bogut is in his second season with Golden State after spending his first seven in Milwaukee. Bogut's scoring and rebounding averages are up from last year to 6.5 and 8.4, respectively.

However, Bogut brings much more than stats to the Warriors. He is the backbone of the team and the toughness in the paint. He is the one that has the back of point guard Stephen Curry, the team's leading scorer.

Bogut says, however, he can be tough without being a so-called enforcer.

"Look," Bogut told SFGate.com, "you need a guy that's going to be physical and grab rebounds and set screens. I don't know if you need a tough guy that's trying to fight everybody. I think you need some toughness, but toughness isn't necessarily just physicality, it's mental toughness, too. It's getting knocked down and getting back up. You're going to get hit in the NBA."

MILLER MILESTONE: Former Ute Andre Miller is a mere five assists from passing Rod Strickland (7,987) for ninth on the NBA's all-time career list according to NBA.com.

In his 16th NBA season, Miller is averaging 19 minutes off the bench for the Denver Nuggets. He scores 7.7 points per game and averages 2.7 assists. In his best scoring game this season (15 points), Miller helped the Nuggets defeat the Utah Jazz, 100-81, in Salt Lake City.

JIMMERMANIA: The Sacramento Kings didn't pick up Jimmer Fredette's fourth-year option, which might end up being the best thing to ever happen to the former BYU star.

Fredette has hardly played this season with one outing of 19 minutes against Portland more than a week ago. Fredette scored four points on 2-of-6 shooting. Since that game he has yet to play again.

Whitney O'Bannon is a new media sports writer for the Deseret News. Follow on Twitter at @whitney_oban.

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