Heading into Wednesday night’s matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans, the Memphis Grizzlies have to remember a couple of things; starting with the fact that this Pelicans team is a different beast altogether.
No, not just the name change, but a brand new and revitalized roster featuring Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans as the big names to come into New Orleans. But, what the Grizzlies may want to remember about last season is that one guy in particular gave them fits: Power forward Anthony Davis.
What is even more worrying is that Davis appears to be a whole different beast this year as well. Last year in three games against Memphis, Davis averaged 16 points, 13 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 0.6 steals. What’s Davis like this season?
In a word: Scary.
Through four games, Davis has managed to put up 22.0 points (on 44 percent shooting), 12.0 rebounds, 4.3 blocks and 2.0 steals per contest. Could he be on his way to being the best all around power forward in the league? I think that’s a legitimate possibility.
Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are in for a dog fight Wednesday night. Davis has gotten a bit stronger, thus being able to move throughout the post even better than he could last season. His offensive game has taken a turn for the better, showcasing things like a jump hook and many offensive rebounds and tip-ins. Most importantly, the guy will block your shot whether you like it or not.
As Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, Gasol will be a great matchup for Davis. During times when Randolph is responsible for guarding him though, Davis may end up going on a tear. Between the two of them, containing Davis will be a key to victory and possibly even the reason Davis finally struggles for once this year.