AVERAGING 9.3 POINTS, 3.5 REBOUNDS
Success no surprise
for Bobcats rookie
Davidson displaying smooth offensive skills
APJermareo Davidson of Alabama takes questions during a news conference held by the Charlotte Bobcats on July 2.
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Jermareo Davidson isn't surprised by this success and neither is his new coach. So perhaps the rest of us shouldn't be, either.
Still, it's hard not to wonder what's happened: Davidson waited 36 picks before ending up a Charlotte Bobcat. His rights were a throw-in in the deal that sent Jason Richardson from Golden State to Charlotte.
So far the throw-in has looked more like a leap forward. A graceful 6-foot-10 forward-center, Davidson is in the rotation at a time when most rookies chosen where he was wonder whether it's safe to sign a lease or buy a car.
Davidson looked like a keeper in the first four exhibitions, averaging 9.3 points (on 61.5 percent shooting) and 3.5 rebounds. Those numbers can deceive -- players don't always face the toughest competition in NBA preseason -- but coach Sam Vincent says he's seen enough to know Davidson has every chance to make it.
"It was obvious in summer league. Even when I watched him on film (at Alabama): He has skills for his size that make him a little unique,'' Vincent said.
Those distinctive qualities show up on offense. There's a smoothness in the way Davidson moves and a wide spectrum of offensive skills. Alabama's coaches told him to concentrate on his jump hook, but with the Bobcats, he's demonstrated the skill and the confidence to hit square-up and turnaround jump shots.
Those moves pull the opposing team's big men away from the basket at a time when the Bobcats are hurting for options inside.
But is the preseason deceiving?
"Not really,'' Vincent said. "There are certain things on the floor that, irrespective of who you're playing against, you prove you can do. A guy who can shoot the ball, can shoot regardless of who is on the floor. We know there are things that will transfer over into the regular season.''
Defense is more a concern, because of Davidson's wispy, 230-pound frame. Weight seems to melt off his bones, and while the overweight would love to have that metabolism, it's an issue when you're banging with someone such as New Jersey Nets center Jamaal Magloire, as Davidson did Monday.
"I know strength is an issue,'' Davidson said. "That and see-the-whole-court awareness are the two things I really have to get over.''
He recently hired a cook to add some good pounds and monitor his nutrition. Davidson isn't into fast food and he generally cooks for himself, but his diet is now a factor in his career, so he turned to a professional.
He's good about that -- trusting the experts around him.
"I just keep talking to the vets. Or I look over to Coach, and he corrects my mistakes,'' Davidson said. "I'm not surprised (by success). As long as I keep playing hard, I'll keep it up.''