Glen Davis, dealing with extra attention from opposing defenses and perhaps his own heightened expectations for himself, sought out some advice from an old friend.
He called Kevin Garnett.
The former Boston Celtics teammates spoke Thursday night over the phone.
“He was just telling me some good advice, some great advice that really can most definitely help me,” Davis said. “He was saying, ‘Hey, now you’ve graduated. You’re a Navy SEAL now.’ And I see it. I see it.”
After two impressive performances in Orlando’s first two games of the season, Davis fell back to earth in a loss Tuesday to the Chicago Bulls and a loss Wednesday to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Davis went a combined 9-of-31 from the floor in those defeats.
On one hand, Davis faced added attention from defenders, occasionally seeing opposing point guards provide support— or “digs” — by collapsing on him and trying grab the ball as he posted-up. On the other hand, Davis also forced some shots that either were out of his range or gave taller opponents chances for blocks.
Garnett, of course, has been a go-to guy for his teams since he started in the league in the mid-1990s. And Garnett also served as a tough-love mentor to Davis when Davis joined the Celtics in 2007.
“We’re like brothers,” Davis said. “So at the end of the day, I needed some advice. How do I approach the game now? He was just telling me, ‘You can play. You know how to play this game the right way. Just keep playing the game the right way and let the game come and let the game flow. Don’t press yourself. Don’t feel like you’ve got to do everything.’ ”
Davis probably did try to do too much.
Entering Friday, opponents had blocked an average of 3.5 of Davis’ shots per game.
“Most definitely I can change my approach,” Davis said. “I’ve just got to work to my strengths.”
Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said improved ball movement can help open some airspace.
“Hopefully, our movement helps to alleviate that,” he said. “It’s not just a one-on-one approach to the game, but it’s a shot created from movement from a screen and now the defense is playing catchup instead of it being loaded and looking at a single player. So that is to our advantage when we swing the ball from one side of the floor.”
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at email@example.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times