Young guard Terence Davis bringing veteran mindset to Raptors’ playoff push

Young guard Terence Davis bringing veteran mindset to Raptors’ playoff push

Terence Davis is approaching the NBA’s return to play with a veteran’s mindset.

The Raptors guard was enjoying a standout rookie campaign when the NBA suspended the 2019-20 season in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having put in three-quarters of a season before the shutdown, and having earned the trust of his veteran teammates, Davis said he’ll be looking to be counted on when the league starts up again next month at the Walt Disney World resort near Orlando, Fla.

“I would come into this more mature, being that I went through three-fourths of a season,” Davis said Thursday on a videoconference. “Just growing up, maturing, taking the steps in the right direction.”

The Raptors signed Davis in the off-season after he went unselected at the 2019 NBA draft, and he fit in immediately with the defending NBA champions. He averaged 7.7 points a night on 46.3 per cent shooting while leaning on veterans like Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet and Marc Gasol.

“Any time Kyle, Fred, those guys talk to me I’m listening, I’m all ears because they’re vets,” Davis said. ”Kyle is 14 years in, Fred is a young vet — I look at him like a vet — and he’s a different kind of guy, especially in the pick-and-roll. He’s mastered it, pretty much.

“So any time they’re talking I’m listening. And they definitely give me pointers because they want to see their young guys come up. There’s no hate over here and we all love each other. So any time they’re talking I’m listening.”

He said the team leaders don’t look at him like a rookie anymore, and while that might mean he has less leeway for error, it also shows the confidence his teammates have in him.

“I had to gain these guys’ trust and I would say it means a lot,” Davis said. “I wouldn’t say this is something that’s normal, but for me being an undrafted guy playing with the defending champions it’s just unbelievable.

“That’s something that you want as a young guy. You want these guys to be able to trust you and that’s something that I’m working towards every day. So I’m excited about the process, going to Orlando and really finishing out the season because we really have a chance to do it again.”

Still, Davis knows areas of his game need work if he wants to see a lot of playing time once playoff games begin. He said he wants to improve his play in the pick-and-roll and work on creating his own shot, but added improvements on defence could catch the eye of head coach Nick Nurse.

“I would say just the trust on the defensive end, really. Because that’s really what wins ball games,” Davis said. ”The little things on the defensive end, being in gaps, showing your length, boxing out, tag and pursue, all of the four pillars that you really take pride in. Just showing him those things and really sticking to it. I think everything else will take care of itself.”

The Raptors have been training in Fort Myers, Fla., since June 22 in preparation for the league’s planned return in Orlando. Florida has been hit hard by a rise in cases of the novel coronavirus of late, including a record 10,109 new cases reported Thursday.

“We know it’s all around us but we’re doing a great job and the organization’s doing a wonderful job of taking proper precautions,” Davis said. ”Making sure we’re wearing our masks and having hand sanitizer or gloves if we have to. So we’re doing the right thing to stay safe and make sure everyone is safe.”

One thing Davis won’t get to experience in the second part of his rookie year is the thrill of soaking in the noise of home fans, or the satisfaction of shutting up a hostile crowd on the road, during the playoffs. All games in Orlando will be played in empty venues.

“It’ll be different for me,” Davis said. “I play off crowd energy, even if we’re on the road. Like, if we make a bucket I like to hear the crowd go quiet. It’s just part of the game, you know? So it’s going to be different for everyone playing without fans. Because you really don’t know how much fans have an impact on things until there are no fans.”

The Raptors are scheduled to return to action Aug. 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers. They will play eight games for playoff seeding before the post-season begins.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2020.

The Canadian Press

NBA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

robbery
UPDATE: Shooting suspect arrested by Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

Quality Inn & Suites in Rimbey. Photo Submitted
Rimbey hotel gets new lease on life

The Quality Inn & Suites in Rimbey is now open and taking bookings

Leanne Evans, Rimbey Neighbourhood Place Program Coordinator, accepts a donation of $5,000 from Kevin Maxwell manager of Field Support for Telus. (Photo Submitted)
Rimbey Neighbourhood Place making big changes behind the scenes

Rimbey Neighbourhood Place recently recieved a $5,000 donation from Telus

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. Advisers are reportedly recommending Alberta's kindergarten to Grade 4 arts and social studies curriculum remove all references to residential schools because it's "too sad" for young children. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Advisers suggest Alberta students not learn about residential schools before Grade 4

Documents suggest children younger than Grade 4 are too emotionally vulnerable to learn about residential schools

File photo
RCMP’s response to online discussions about anti-racism demonstrations

Ponoka RCMP Staff Sgt.’s comments misattributed online

Shaelynn Decock and her dog Taco, who has been missing since Aug. 26. Photo Submitted
Sylvan Lake woman looking for closure for her stolen dog

Shaelynn Decock says it has been two months since she last saw her dog Taco

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday February 4, 2020 in Ottawa. The Alberta government is welcoming news that Ottawa has approved an expansion of the Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. gathering system in Alberta — while condemning federal delays that it says cost this summer’s construction season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta welcomes federal approval of gas pipeline expansion while criticizing delay

The project is expected to create up to 2,920 direct jobs during construction, the federal release said

Most Read