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Average Fantasy Points
Average Fantasy Points are determined when Baron Davis was active vs. non-active during the season. Click here to view average fantasy points for a different time period.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Davis can be an electric player when healthy and motivated, but we haven’t seen too much “healthy” or “motivated” in recent years. Joining a team that could contend for the Eastern Conference title should help with the latter, but his health is a big question mark. There were reports that Davis would be sidelined for as long as 6-8 weeks due to a disc problem in his lower back… and much speculation that the severity of the injury was being exaggerated to help him get through waivers. Now that he has cleared, there are estimates that he’ll be back by early January. With his ability to sink three-pointers off of kick-outs, he should be an excellent fit for D’Antoni’s system… so long as he doesn’t start jacking threes before Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony get a touch.
Davis' second season with his hometown Clippers mirrored his first – and that certainly isn't a positive. In his last two seasons with the Warriors, Davis averaged over 20 points per game. In two with the Clips, that number has dropped to around 15. And his production in other categories… assists, steals, rebounding… hasn't made up for the drop off. Personnel has been part of the problem; Davis signed with the Clippers thinking he'd be playing with Elton Brand, but Brand spurned L.A. for a deal with the Sixers. Last year, the Clippers were so high on top overall pick Blake Griffin's potential, they dealt incumbent Zach Randolph for nothing. Then Griffin injured his knee, Marcus Camby was dealt in a salary dump, and once again the Clippers finished the year short-handed. Davis seems to be a player who performs to the level of his teammates; when his Golden State team was contending for a playoff berth, Davis performed at an all-star level. But when his team seems headed for the lottery, Davis' production leads the way. The Clippers have an awful lot of young talent at this point – so much that, if they get off to a hot start, we may see the return of good Baron. But with Davis – and the Clippers – nothing is ever assured.
Has any player’s stock risen and fallen as much as Davis’ over the last few seasons? In New Orleans, he was regarded as a chucker who took too many bad shots and was always hurt. As the leader of a resurgent Golden State Warriors squad that was among the league’s most entertaining, Davis was an NBA darling. But signing with his home town Clippers – who subsequently lost Elton Brand in free agency – seemed to bring back all the negatives in Davis’ game. Last season, on an oddly-constructed Clipper squad that featured another of the league’s most notorious me-first players in Zach Randolph, Davis’ scoring average dropped by a third, from 21.8 points per game to just 14.9, his shooting percentage took a dive from .426 to .370. His rebounding (4.7 rpg to 3.7) steals (2.3 to 1.7) and threes made (173 to just 99 on the season) dropped as well. And he played in just 65 games, bringing back all the old questions about his durability. This season, the outlook in Clipper-land is a lot more positive. Randolph is gone, replaced by first-overall pick Blake Griffin. Combine him with promising young players like Eric Gordon and Al Thornton, and the center tandem of Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby, and the overall vibe surrounding the team is a whole lot more positive. If you believe Davis is the type to put up better numbers when playing for a better team, this could be a year to take a chance on him.
Davis wanted to get to back home to Los Angeles, and he arranged for that by opting out of his contract with Golden State. Only he goes to the Clippers, a team in more upheaval than most in the NBA with lots of new faces and several offensive-minded players looking for their spots on offense. Marcus Camby, Ricky Davis and Jason Williams join Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas. There’s no shortage of guys looking for the ball, but you can count on Davis getting his looks. He’s a scoring point guard first, and he tends to fall in love with his shot too much. He can do a lot with the ball, posting up smaller guards, leading the transition game, getting to the rim or setting up his teammates. The biggest concern about Davis is health as the 82 games he played in 2007-08 was his first full season since 2001-02. A variety of injuries have dogged him throughout his career, including recurring back issues.
Davis was a big part of a Golden State team that made the postseason for the first time in 13 years. His best fantasy attributes are points (20.1) and assists (8.1), but both come with caveats. Davis is a notoriously poor shooter – mostly the result of bad shot selection – and he turns the ball over a lot – tied for third among point guards at 3.1 per game. He also has problems staying healthy, so be prepared to have another full-time point guard on your roster. Davis is good in transition and will thrive in Don Nelson’s up-tempo offense, but don’t overlook the major holes in his game.
In a perfect basketball world, Baron Davis would look at Don Nelson’s career record and what he’s done for the careers of such guards as Steve Nash. Then Davis would roll out the red carpet and embrace his new chief. Unfortunately, given that Davis has a fairly long-standing reputation of treating practices and set plays as optional, that might be a lot to ask. Even if he meets his new coach half way, Nelson’s style should mean an overall increase in scoring, and that’s bound to benefit Davis’ numbers. It won’t change the fact that he jacks entirely too many threes and doesn’t hit nearly enough of them (31.5% from downtown last season), or the fact that he struggles to stay in the lineup – he’s played in more than 55 games in just one of the last four seasons.
A change of scenery worked wonders for Davis last year. After spending a good chunk of the early season languishing on the Hornets’ bench nursing injuries, Davis was sent to Golden State for Speedy Claxton and spare parts. Suddenly, Warriors fans stopped complaining about the Adonal Foyle and Derek Fisher contracts. After the trade, Davis’ logged improvements in shooting (36% from the floor as a Hornet, 40% as a Warrior), assists (7.2 to 8.3 apg) and scoring (18.9 to 19.5 ppg). With Davis and Jason Richardson, the Warriors boast one of the NBA’s most dynamic backcourts. Davis does have two significant negatives in his game: durability and control. In the last three seasons, Davis has played 47, 66 and 32 games, missing significant time to a variety of injuries including a balky back. He’s also been known to become something of a chucker, especially when other options aren’t available on offense (witness his 36% field goal percentage before the trade last season). The latter problem should be solved on a Golden State team that, on paper, has enough talent to compete for a playoff spot in the West. With the injuries, though, all you can do is wait and hope.
In Jamal Mashburn's almost season-long absence, Davis took the next step as a scorer last season, averaging 22.9 ppg. There's no reason to expect the 25-year old not to match or exceed that performance in 04-05. That said, he chucked up a lot of shots, shooting 39.5 percent on the year, and is only a 67 percent free throw shooter, which is pretty lousy for a guard. Davis pumps in a ton of threes (187 in 03-04), and will give you 7-plus assists and 2-plus steals per game as well. The only things holding Davis back from being a truly elite NBA player are durability and control. He missed 15 games last season with ankle problems, after missing 32 games the season before. But if he stays in the lineup and picks his opportunities to score a little better, Davis will dominate.
Davis has the potential to be one of the premier guards in the NBA, he is young, and has all the tools it takes to make it to the top. The only thing that stops him is his injuries. Davis missed 32 games last season. When healthy he will give you 17 points, 7 assists, and 2 steals per game, along with a few threes. But keep an eye on his health this season.
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