Ekker you can jump for joy. Paul Davis is back in the NBA. I posted the entire article since I still do not have 95 posts to post a link
by Michael Lee (The Washington Post)
Davis claims 15th spot
The Wizards concluded their final practice before the regular season debut in Dallas on Tuesday and Coach Flip Saunders announced that the team would enter the year with 15 players, meaning that longshot big man Paul Davis was able to hold on.
Davis's ability to beat the odds can be attributed to a solid performance during training camp, but mostly because Antawn Jamison is going to start the season on the shelf after suffering a shoulder subluxation.
With Jamison down, the Wizards faced the prospect of entering the season with just four big men -- Brendan Haywood, Andray Blatche, Fabricio Oberto and JaVale McGee. The Wizards made plenty of moves this offseason, but they hated to part ways with Darius Songaila in that deal with Minnesota to acquire Mike Miller and Randy Foye.
The 6-foot-11 Davis plays a similar, though not as effective, below-the-rim game as Songaila and even wears his familiar No. 9. Davis averaged just 3.3 points and 1.5 rebounds in four preseason appearances, but Saunders was pleased with his effort and performance during training camp. "He's played well. He's had some opportunities," Saunders said. "We've played some teams where you'll need a fifth big early in the season. So, we'll see."
Davis came to Washington at the urging of Gilbert Arenas, who worked out with Davis last summer in Chicago. Davis, like Arenas, is also looking to bounce back from a knee injury. He had surgery to repair two torn ligaments in his right knee in 2008 and the Los Angeles Clippers cut him last January after he averaged just four points and 2.4 rebounds in 27 games.
"I finished up rehab this summer, and I feel great," said Davis, a former 2006 second-round pick out of Michigan State. "I figured, come in and control what I can control. That's what I do on the court, off the court, and other than that, I let things play out. I just tried to give myself the best chance to make the team and do things exactly how they wanted me to do them. Everything else was out of my control so I just stayed within myself and feel good that I'm here and on the team."
Davis got the word that he might right before the team played the Chicago Bulls last Friday. "Flip and Ernie make it pretty clear what to expect, what they wanted," Davis said. "Just come in and defensively play solid and pick up the plays and concepts, rebound, open jumpers. That basically is my role is on the team, and just be ready to play whether its five minutes in the game or if they need me for 30. Over training camp, I meshed well with the staff and with the players and I think we'll come together at the right time."
Jamison remains upbeat although he will miss the season opener against one of his former teams, the Dallas Mavericks. He remains encouraged with his progress, saying that the range of motion is back in his shoulder and that he might start shooting again on Tuesday. But he is also willing to be patient. "You know me, I'm always trying to get out there as quickly as possible, but this is something that's very serious," Jamison said. "If it comes out again, they talking about surgery or something like that. I definitely don't want that to happen again. Just hearing that Makes me realize that I got to make sure that everything is where it needs to be, see the doctors and make sure that everything is okay because I feel like I can play right now."
Jamison said he was "shocked" by the original diagnosis, saying that he felt fine in the locker room after chopping down on Zydrunas Ilgauskas in Cleveland. He even thought he could come back and finish the game. The most frustrating part of the injury was that he had just begun to start feeling good physically before suffereing what he calls a "fluke" injury. "I was not feeling sore anymore. I was ready to go," he said. "Now I'm in a situation where I'm getting back in shape. My knee is hurting again and now I'm starting back over. For me, it's just getting 100 percent healthy."
"It's one of those things that I'm glad it happened now, instead of during the season," Jamison said. "I have all the confidence in my teammates to get off to a good start and I'll be out there very soon."
Saunders remains guarded about his rotation, refusing to announce his starting shooting guard until tomorrow. As Mike Miller walked past reporters (wearing a Florida Gators top and some Minnesota Timberwolves sweats), I asked him if Saunders had named a starter yet. "Uh no," Miller said, voice drifting in the hallway. "You guys believe me?"
With the regular season upon him, Saunders offered this assessment of his team after his first training camp and preseason with these players: "We're not as far along as we'd like to be, and we're probably right between where we might be and where we thought we might be You have so many new players coming in and guys coming back trying to establish themselves from injury, guys who you made trades and they've come in, and younger players trying to develop themselves. So you have a lot of people who are trying to get involved in some individual things too. So it's a matter of trying to tie things together into the process and the team concept."