Mar 7, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis (23) against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Pelicans’ Anthony Davis may be closer than we realize


If Anthony Davis wasn’t tall, had an epic unibrow or insanely good at basketball, you probably wouldn’t be able to pick him out of a group of people. At least, that’s the person that he’s slowly transforming into as he comes close to completing his sophomore season in the NBA.

He isn’t the most outspoken player in the league, nor is he the most flashy. He’s not going to scream “look at me, look at me”, with insanely annoying “young player” antics, nor is he going to headline your Sportscenter telecast. At least, not yet.

We’ve been waiting for Davis to blow up into our TV screens, to overtake the hype that he came out of Kentucky with. Slowly, quietly — just the way he likes to do things — he’s done just that. At least, if you look carefully.

Davis is tied for 13th in the League in scoring, at 21.4 points per game, ninth in rebounding, at 10.4 per game, and leads the league in blocked shots, at 2.9 per game. He’s also ranked 14th in the league in field goal percentage, among active players who average at least 30 minutes per game, at 52.7 percent.

From last season to this year, he’s seeing a seven point spike in scoring and averaging two full rebounds and one more block per game. So much for a sophomore slump.

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Basically, what Davis has been able to do this season, along with his progression from last season, is pretty amazing. Apart from the solid field goal percentage, and the above average (to say the least) per game statistics, he’s also had a handful of games in which he basically cluttered the box score with pure awesomeness. Something that we too often don’t see — especially when it comes to big men.

Specifically, in his last six games, Davis is averaging 32.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and three blocks per game on 58 percent shooting. You can shrug it off and call it a “hot streak” all you want, but do many marginal players go on hot streaks to produce numbers such as those? Unlikely.

Sure, Davis doesn’t play for a glamorous team like the New York Knicks, Miami Heat or the Los Angeles Lakers. Heck, he doesn’t even play for a team as flashy as the San Antonio Spurs. He plays for a team that, frankly, no one really cares for, even though they play in a city as great as New Orleans. Honestly, the irrelevancy of the New Orleans Pelicans is probably what’s best for Anthony Davis at the moment anyways.

It’s been pretty good for Tim Duncan’s career.

So while the Pelicans won’t be making the playoffs again this season, the majority of Pelicans fans (if they exist) will be able to sit tight and patiently wait for their time — just as Davis has been doing for the past year-plus.

However, something tells me that his time could be sooner rather than later. At the ripe age of 21, Davis is slowly gaining on the likes of Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge — if he’s not there already.

But continue to question him, just like this guy did right before the 2012 NBA draft. It’s fun that way.

One needs to remember, though, that his odds are slim to shine as a star, and he will most likely be a better role player in the NBA.

I’m sure he’s more than happy with people underrating him than overrating him, however, I’m not really sure how you can overrate him with the way he’s been progressing and playing so far this season.

He’ll become so good at his position that it’ll come to the point where we question whether he’s a forward or a center, right Tim Duncan?

No, I’m not trying to compare Davis to Duncan at this point in his career. After all, why would I want to limit him to that? Davis has a chance to be very special. The kind of special that comes once a generation.

Enjoy Davis, his unibrow, his height and his insanely gifted basketball skills. After all, who would want to pick such and ordinary guy out of a crowd of people anyways?

 

 

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