New Orleans Pelicans’ forward/center Anthony Davis is now an elite NBA superstar. His statistics seven games into the season are simply mind-boggling. He is averaging 25 points, 13 rebounds, 4.4 blocks and 2.3 steals. He leads the league in rebounds and blocks and is among the top 10 in scoring and steals. He brings a rare combination of speed, power, and coordination in a 6-10 frame and a 7-5 wingspan. What is more amazing is that he has barely scratched the surface of his potential since he is only 21-years old.
Davis is being mentioned as a potential Most Valuable Player candidate this early in the season. He has been dominating both ends of the floor. And unlike other “great” centers such as Shaquille O’ Neal, Davis can shoot from the free throw line and has a medium-range jumper. Sure Hakeem Olajuwon does have those same skills but Davis is more athletic by a mile and can even play the wing. His array of skills is simply unmatched in the NBA today. It would be safe to say that Davis is already in the league of LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
While we knew he was good in college, nobody projected Davis to be this good. In Davis’ only season at the University of Kentucky, he led the Wildcats to the National Championship and garnered several awards. These include National Player of the Year and Big Man of the Year as he broke several NCAA shot-blocking records. He then became the NBA No.1 overall pick in the 2013 Draft.
While he suffered minor injuries in his first two seasons, there were already glimpses of his dominance. His 40-point, 20-rebound effort in March 2014 was simply awesome and he became the youngest player to do the feat (21 years and 5 days) since O’Neal back in 1993. Last season, he averaged 21 points, 10 rebounds, and a league-leading 2.8 blocks—good enough to be among the finalists in the Most Improved Player of the Year Award.
This season, he is on a tear. He started out with one of the best performances to start the season with a 26 point, 17 rebound, and 9 block game which is quite rare. Despite his efforts though, his Pelicans are only 4-3 and in the tough Western Conference that may not be enough to even make the playoffs.
Still the real story is the emergence of another young superstar whose game will define the league for years. Move over King James and KD, there is a new kid in town and his name is Anthony Davis.
SIDELINES. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the only player to win an MVP award in a season when his team missed the playoffs. He did it by averaging 27.7 points, 16.9 rebounds, five assists and 4.1 blocks for a 1975-76 Lakers team that went just 40-42.