Toronto Raptors: What Terence Davis needs to become a primary ball-handler in the future

Toronto Raptors, Terence Davis (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors, Terence Davis (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors, Terence Davis (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Yesterday, Toronto Raptors guard, Terence Davis, spoke to the media about what improvements he needs to work on for the upcoming playoffs.

It feels as if only the Toronto Raptors can consistently find gems in the rough. A few years ago, it was Fred VanVleet, now it is Terence Davis, who they signed after he went undrafted in 2019. Davis has been very impressive when he has played this year and yesterday he spoke out to the media about things he can improve on for the upcoming playoffs.

Mastering the Pick and Roll

The first thing Terence Davis mentioned was that he wants to master the pick and roll so he can be that secondary ball-handler on the court. We have already seen some shades of pick and roll with Davis as the ball handler and Chris Boucher being the screener. Although most of it is in garbage time, Davis has shown some promise in that area.

Davis is quick enough to drive to the basket and can either finish — Davis is shooting an amazing 66% around the rim — or find the open man in the paint. The two problems with Davis as a ball-handler off the pick and roll is his pull-up shot, which is poor — something Davis addresses but we’ll get to that later. This can make him fairly predictable off the dribble and defenders won’t feel obligated to guard him after four feet out from the basket.

The other problem with Davis is that he tends to tunnel vision to the rim or players in the paint. Meaning he doesn’t find the open man around the three-point line all that often. He does have nice scoop and bounce passes to guys like Ibaka, Bouchers, or Siakam in the paint. But rarely does he find the open man in the corner.

With just slightly more experience, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Davis pick apart defenses in the future as a ball handler. But he needs to improve drastically in the next thing that is being mentioned.

Davis lacks a pull-up jumper

Terence Davis has improved his shooting significantly since joining the Toronto Raptors. Off the catch and shoot, Davis shoots the three at a 42.3% rate on 2.7 attempts per game. His shooting is fantastic, the only issue is his pull-up shooting, as he mentions with the media.

Off pull-up threes, Davis is only shooting the ball at a 32% rate which is not so great. Most of these attempts do come in garbage time when he is assigned as the primary ball-handler. So although it is on a fairly small sample size — only 0.8 attempts per game — it is still something that needs improving if Davis truly wants to be that number two ball handler.

His lack of a mid-range pull can also be worrying. Yes, the mid-range is not the most efficient shot to take, but just adding that to your arsenal or showing you are at least respectable from that range can make all the difference for a ball handler. Right now, Davis is shooting 18% from the mid-range (7/38).

If Davis can improve his pull-jumper, that will also improve his effectiveness as a pick and roll handler. We don’t know if it’ll come this season, but he at least realizes what his weaknesses are and what he needs to do to improve on them.

Next. The Kyle Lowry Story (The Disruptor). dark

After all, Terence Davis is only 23 years old and is already a very polished player in both areas of the game. With more experience, it wouldn’t be surprising to see see the Toronto Raptors eventually form a future backcourt duo of the two gems in the rough, Terence Davis and Fred VanVleet.