There’s nothing Anthony Davis can’t do on a basketball court. The 21 year-old New Orleans Pelicans All-Star and Team USA might the most versatile player in basketball aside from LeBron James, a fact extra scary considering Davis is just scratching the surface of his limitless potential.
Early returns from USA Basketball training camp confirmed what we already knew – that Davis is going to take an even bigger leap in 2014-2015 than he did last season. But that consensus prevailing notion didn’t make his play in Team USA’s four exhibition games any less impressive.
The numbers are great: 13.8 points, (57 percent FGs), 6.5 rebounds 3.8 blocks, and 1.5 steals in a paltry 20.5 minutes per game. But it’s the myriad of “wow” plays that Davis has made on both ends of the floor for the United States shine brighter than raw statistics.
There was the huge alley-oop and game-saving hustle play against Brazil:
These blocks against the Dominican Republic:
And in addition to many others, there’s pretty much Davis’ entire 18-point, 9-rebound, 5-block, 3-steal performance against Slovenia:
These games were exhibitions. Team USA nor their opponents were going full-tilt, and even if they were the caliber of competition ensures everything gleaned from international play a grain of salt. Until the United States meets Spain, it won’t face a team with multiple top-tier NBA talents.
But Davis has shown enough regardless this summer that it might be time to readjust sky-high hopes for the coming season. Would anyone be shocked if he emerges as the world’s third best player by the end of 2014-2015? After his time with USA Basketball and the World Cup is done in mid-September, we won’t be surprised when that development becomes the new expectation.
Is Davis Team USA’s best player?
Follow Jack on Twitter at @ArmstrongWinter.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.