It begs the question of why Davis hasn’t consistently run with big minutes, averaging 22.1 over the first seven games of this (and it’s so weird that we have to specify which) injury period and playing 13, 16 and eight the three games prior to this one. Nurse has built up more than enough benefit of the doubt at this point, turning in a half-season worthy of strong coach of the year consideration — to the extent that you can look past the occasional decision that seems disagreeable at first blush. Davis’ role was harder to look past than, say, not making offence-defence subs late, but Nurse has begun to establish a balance he likes between carrot and stick as a motivator. “With me, as you’ve seen already a few times this year, I’m gonna rattle your cage if you deserve to have it rattled,” Nurse said. “But I’m gonna put my arm around ya the next day and get on with it because I believe in the kid.
It was only in his and our team’s best interest to do that, so we did that.”