All eyes have been on Johnny Davis since he was drafted by the Wizards and the sight hasn’t always been pretty. Wizards fans lost patience pretty quickly as it was apparent his confidence wasn’t where it needed to be to excel in the NBA.
But Davis changed that perception on Tuesday night during the Wizards matchup against the Detroit Pistons. The rookie recorded a career-high 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting. He also grabbed a career-best five rebounds in 19 minutes from off the bench.
Much of Davis’ success can be contributed to his time with the team’s G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go. Just last month, he set a career-high 25 points with the Go-Go which was his best showing of the season.
That momentum clearly carried forward to the Wizards and it is finally starting to look like Davis is coming into his own. He also recognizes the role his time with the Go-Go has played in his development.
“A lot of rookies look at the G-League as a demotion. I look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow, and develop as a player,” Davis said in his Wizards postgame interview.
When asked whether his growing confidence has to do with him getting used to the NBA or his opportunities with the Go-Go, Davis responded: “I think it has a lot to do with the Go-Go. When I was down there, my main goal was to gain confidence and get comfortable while playing.”
Earlier in the season, Wizards Coach Wes Unseld, Jr. noted Davis’ hesitancy to shoot but also mentioned that Davis knew immediately when he passed up shots. With that being said, Unseld Jr. noticed the change in Davis’ confidence based on his performance against the Pistons.
“I thought he was great. He was aggressive, and he didn’t look out of place. Earlier in the year, at times, he was a little tentative. He fit right in. He played downhill. He didn’t turn shots down which is a great sign,” Coach Wes Unseld, Jr. said. “I think just the level of comfortability that he showed tonight is a big step. Make or miss. I like his process. I like how he played…his demeanor on the floor, he was locked in defensively. So I think there’s a lot of growth there.”
While Davis is happy with how the G-League has helped him develop as a player, he is ready to be a more consistent presence with the Wizards.
“My next step is being full-time with the Wizards,” Davis proclaimed. “I love those guys down there on the Go-Go but I can’t come back. So I would say just continuing to grow as a player and learn what they’re doing up here.”