Ole Miss basketball standout turned rising NBA superstar Terence Davis Jr. and the Toronto Raptors have concluded their regular season and will face the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs beginning on Monday.
Raptors-Nets first round schedule pic.twitter.com/LeOAYvp78q— Kayla Grey (@Kayla_Grey) August 13, 2020
Davis Jr., who turned 23 years old in May, graduated from Ole Miss in 2019 and finished his career with 1,512 points and made 176 three-pointers, good for seventh all-time in school history. As a senior, he averaged 15.2 points per game to rank No. 10 in the SEC, and led the Rebels in assists and rebounds. He was not drafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, but Davis Jr. made a name for himself in the NBA Summer League and signed with Toronto shortly after. Since then, he has quickly established himself as one of the league’s rising talents and carved out significant role player minutes with the reigning NBA champion Raptors.
one of my favorite plays of the year:— William Lou (@william_lou) June 18, 2020
undrafted rookie terence davis, against the lakers who were undefeated at home, with the entire lakers bench screaming at him, hitting the three in crunch time to help lead the raptors to victory without lowry and ibaka. pic.twitter.com/cnEJQ9RF6Y
The NBA, which was the first American sport to shut down during the COVID-19 global pandemic after Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus before a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 11th, returned to action in July 30th after a more than four month hiatus. The league created a “bubble” at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., and the teams that qualified for the playoff push have been in quarantine at the complex since July 9th.
The Raptors have Toronto-fied the entire floor of their NBA bubble hotel in Orlando - Terence Davis https://t.co/qg0j3TlGJq #Toronto #Raptors #TorontoRaptors #WeTheNorth #NBA #Orlando pic.twitter.com/O7BKbLrJz0— blogTO (@blogTO) July 16, 2020
The Raptors, who will be the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, began the year 46-18 before play was halted in March. Since resuming play on August 1st against the Los Angeles Lakers, Davis Jr. and company are 7-1, marking a complete regular season record of 53-19.
Through the team’s 72 games, Davis Jr. averaged 7.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.5 minutes per game, and shot an impressive 46.1 percent from the field and 39 percent from beyond the arc. In the team’s eight games from the bubble, Davis Jr. contributed an average of 6 points and 2.5 rebounds on 35.76 percent shooting. His highest scoring game of the season came on February 2nd, when the Southaven, Miss. native dropped 31 points on the Bulls. While he has not quite seen as many minutes in Orlando, his best night came in the team’s last regular season game on Friday against the Denver Nuggets. The team had qualified for the playoffs and its seed was locked, so most of the starters sat and David Jr. went off for 14 points with 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. He’s a pure athlete.
For the Raptors to repeat as champions and Davis Jr. to get his first ring, they must beat the Nets in the first round, and then will face the winner of the Celtics and the 76ers. From there, the road could include Milwaukee, Orlando, Miami or Indiana, before facing the Western Conference winner in the NBA Finals.
The former Rebel is sure to see time throughout these next few weeks and has the potential to earn significant minutes down the stretch with strong showings. It all starts Monday.