For those of you that have read my columns before, you’ll know that my love affair with New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis has been at an all-time high this season. Davis has shown tremendous improvement in every area of his game, but specifically scoring the ball.
Davis has been able to hit jump shots, post up effectively, knock down baby hooks and my favorite: Eat up offensive boards and put them right back in the bucket. He’s been the jack of all trades for a big man, averaging 20.9 points, 11 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 2.1 steals per game.
There’s one area that Davis needs help in, though, and it’s by no fault of his own. The Pelicans’ second-leading rebounder is starting forward Al-Farouq Aminu (5.0), followed by center Jason Smith who is averaging just 4.8 rebounds in over 28 minutes per game. Farouq-Aminu is only playing about 21 minutes per game. That is simply unacceptable. For an NBA center to be averaging those rebounding numbers is just disgusting.
Davis has been the only aggressor down low when it comes to fighting for boards. He can’t do it on his own, and for that reason the Pelicans are just 25th in the league in rebounding. I’d normally say here that having Ryan Anderson back is a good thing. But, in his season debut he decided he didn’t want to rebound the ball. He did pour in 26 points, but finished with only one board.
If the Pelicans are to get anywhere this season, even fight for an eighth seed, Davis is going to need help down low crashing the boards. It starts with Smith, but Anderson can’t be satisfied with just a single rebound. New Orleans has to get much more aggressive in the paint from here on out.