As forward Anthony Davis entered his second season in the NBA and with the New Orleans Pelicans franchise, many people expected him to improve off of a relatively impressive rookie season. Perhaps Davis could work on his offensive game a bit and perhaps he could work on becoming a bit more productive across the board after another year of experience.
However, Davis is already putting all of those mild expectations placed upon him for the 2013-14 season behind him. If you need any evidence of that, Davis’ 32 point, 12 rebound, three assist, six block and one steal outburst on Friday night against the Los Angeles Lakers was his best game of the season, but it’s not by that wide of a margin.
Instead of showing slight improvement on the offensive end of the floor, Davis has shown the ability to be one of the better scoring big men in the league. As of right now, Davis is averaging 23.6 points per game and, more impressively, ranks 36th in the league right now in points per possession, per Synergy Sports.
More than just his offensive growth, though, his already solid defense has improved even further. Davis has yet to record fewer than three blocks in a game this season and is also averaging 2.2 two steals per game. If that’s not enough, Synergy also says that he’s been defending well in almost every set that’s been thrown at him. He’s allowed just three made field goals this season while being posted up 21 times and has also been solid against the pick-and-roll the few times that he’s seen it.
There’s a reason that Davis was selected with the first-overall pick in 2012. He already had great defensive skill and had a ton of potential all around. However, I’m not sure anyone expected him to realize that potential to this degree so early in his career. He could slow down as we get deeper into the season, but there’s no question he’s already making a case for himself as a star in this league.