The New Orleans Pelicans have made a lot of big moves this off-season. Not only did they complete a trade that landed them Jrue Holiday on the night of the 2013 NBA Draft, but they also agreed to a sign-and-trade which sent Tyreke Evans their way. They now have two young guards on their roster that can really help their team for the future.
Despite how Holiday and Evans make this team a potential threat in the Western Conference, this team still rises and falls with the number one overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, Anthony Davis. Davis showed a ton of potential as a rookie last season and is only showing signs of improvement.
In 64 games last season, Davis averaged 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, one assists, 1.2 steals and 1.8 blocks in 28.8 minutes per game. He also shot a solid 51.6 percent from the floor. For a 19-year-old in his first season in the league, he was absolutely fantastic and showed all the signs of possibly being a star in the NBA.
However, one of the things that people detracted from Davis’ play last season was his limited ability on the offensive end of the floor. While Davis shot 64.2 percent from the floor inside of eight feet, he shot just 31.6 percent on jump shots last year. Apparently Davis has worked incredibly hard on that aspect of his game this summer, though.
While playing in the USA Basketball Showcase game this past week, Davis wasn’t hesitant to take the 15-20-foot jumper and he knocked it down consistently. He looked comfortable away from the rim, something that wasn’t true for him at all times last season.
If Davis can knock down jump shots efficiently next season, he’s going to explode. He already has the length and skill to succeed around the rim, but if he’s able to draw defenders out, he’ll be able to attack them in multiple ways, as well opening up the paint for guys like Holiday and Evans on the drive. Ultimately, if Davis’ new jumper is for real, the Pelicans could be a sleeper.