Anthony Davis might not be the league’s best defender. He probably isn’t the league’s best scorer, either. But if the 21 year-old superstar can maintain his incredible rate of growth, it seems only a matter of time until he owns both distinctions. Watch the third-year pro – whose pre-draft calling card was defense, by the way – explode for a career-high 43 points on 16-of-23 shooting in the New Orleans Pelicans’ 106-94 road win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday.
How do you defend a 6-11, 240 pound man with a 7-5 wingspan who can move, finish, and shoot like this?
Right. You don’t.
At 26.3 points per game, Davis now trails Kobe Bryant by .4 points for the league’s scoring lead. His true shooting percentage – a measure that takes into account three-pointers and free throws – is nearly identical to Steph Curry and Dirk Nowitzki’s. And as we’ve discussed, Davis is doing all of this via shot attempts that don’t best utilize his incredible gifts. Then there’s the fact that he’s only flashed a developing back-to-basket game and has yet to nail a three-pointer this season – both are coming.
Davis is only scratching the surface right now, and if the season ended today he’d still be a runaway MVP winner. There’s no telling what he’s going to be able to do in five years, or even five months. And if he can maintain this level of play throughout the year, he’ll surely have New Orleans right in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.
(Video via Dawk Ins)
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