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Mar 17, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New Orleans Hornets forward Anthony Davis (23) against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Hornets 97-95. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Hornets: Grading The Rookie Season Of Anthony Davis

Final 2012-13 Regular Season Statistics: 64 games played, 28:48 minutes, 13.5 points, 51.6% shooting, 75.1% from the free-throw line, 8.2 rebounds (2.6 offensive), 1.0 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.8 blocks, 1.4 turnovers.

Analysis

Don’t let his durability issues fool you.

Anthony Davis is a star in the making, and in 2012-13, he showed the potential to be a megastar in the NBA for years to come.

It’s just a shame that he couldn’t stay healthy for long enough spurts in order for the casual basketball fan to take notice. Playing in a small basketball market like New Orleans didn’t help matters either, but that doesn’t change the fact that when he was on the court for the Hornets, he was always making an impact.

The expectations for Davis going into year one were rather steep and unfair, as Anthony is still fairly raw, both physically and from a basketball standpoint. His championship run with the Kentucky Wildcats raised those expectations even more so, as not only was he a tremendous talent, but he had some major hardware to back it up.

The New Orleans Hornets had been in search of their new face of the franchise ever since the Chris Paul era came to an end, so selecting Anthony with the first overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft made perfect sense.

If the numbers stay the same over these last three days of the season, Davis will finish fourth amongst rookies in scoring, first in rebounds, second in offensive rebounds and first in blocks.

At 6’10 and just under 220 pounds, Anthony Davis has yet to build out a solid enough frame to contend with the larger forwards and centers around the league, leaving him vulnerable on defense, especially when the opposition gets decent position in the paint. Even so, Davis has proven quite capable to hold his own in those situations, but adding more muscle and getting stronger will have to be a top priority moving forward.

Gaining muscle will certainly help him stay healthy, as Davis is already showing signs of being prone to injury, having missed time due to issues with his shoulder and knee. The last thing the Hornets want is for their star of the future to be showing kinks in his proverbial armour this early in his career.

Was he the best rookie in the NBA this season? No. That distinction goes to point guard Damian Lillard of the Portland TrailBlazers. That’s not meant to be a slight against Anthony, but Lillard is the clear-cut favorite to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award.

Overall, it’s hard not to get excited about the long-term potential of Anthony Davis. The groundwork is their for Davis to become a household name in the NBA as the years progress, but staying healthy will be the key. As is, his body will not hold up unless he hits the weights.

He’s by no means a perfect player, but in year one, he showed enough in his game to have New Orleans Hornets fans giddy over where his future lies.

Final Grade: B +/A -

Chris Walder is the Editor of Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter at @WalderSports

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Tags: Anthony Davis New Orleans Hornets

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