It was a calculated risk when the Lakers sent Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and a number of unprotected first-round draft picks and pick swaps to the Pelicans for All-Star center Anthony Davis.
Davis was widely regarded as a perennial All-NBA player during his time with the Pelicans, posting career highs in points (23.7 per game), rebounds (10.5), and blocks (2.4 per game).
With over 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game in his rookie season with the Lakers, Davis showed he was ready to take his place among the franchise’s all-time great big men. Davis was honored for all of his hard work by winning an NBA title.
A well-deserved honor for the big man who, before the Pelicans’ championship season, saw no hope of winning any hardware with his team. To be more precise, his shooting percentages.
Although Davis has a career clip of just over 30% from beyond the arc, his numbers have dropped to around 18% over the past two seasons. Seemingly, his career has begun to slow down due to the need to win a championship and nagging injuries.
After 11 seasons in the NBA, Davis is still only 29 years old, proving that the league’s grueling schedule and physical play can do wonders for even the best players. Since the end of the 2018 season, Davis hasn’t participated in at least 70 games, and his performance on the field has steadily declined since then.
Davis’ best days may be behind him, but a new head coach may help him find his groove and change the team’s culture. The Lakers’ offense must be centered on Davis.
Now Is The Start Of The Anthony Davis Era
It seems like all anyone can talk about this summer is how much weight LeBron and Carmelo have lost. It’s an indication of how the game is becoming more streamlined, faster, and less reliant on brute force to carry a team on both ends.
Another Anthony Davis is the one who joined Team USA in preparation for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup this month. The rest of his body has finally caught up to his imposing shoulders, and the Pelicans now have a formidable weapon on their roster.
Davis is the best performer for a United States team that is missing several key players. It’s not as significant as the buzz he’s making. Contrast “buzz” with “hype.” Buzz is what people are actually interested in, while hype is self-serving and unfulfilling.
Davis’s growth has been accelerated in unexpected ways as he enters his third year. His athleticism and long stride made him a potential Defensive Player of the Year candidate coming out of Kentucky, and he was also praised for his destructive potential on offense.
However, Davis is already an accomplished scorer and a physical force in the paint. Ahead of schedule, he developed a mid-range jump shot, and his newfound size allows him to perform like a conventional big man. Davis’s growing conformity to society only serves to highlight his singularity.
The international arena may not reflect reality when it comes to competition. Different rules, different standards, and a lopsided sensibility that favors some players over others make it feel more like basketball on another planet.
Like any worthwhile summer activity, though, it serves as a preview of things to come in the cooler months. There are rumors about how exciting it is to play for Team USA, where the league’s best get together to learn from each other and form bonds of friendship.
However, in the end, players don’t progress because of their experience, but rather because they’re ready. The U.S. national team is merely a holding pen.
For us diehard NBA fans, Davis was a wonder to behold last year. Over the course of the week, he consistently outdid himself, becoming the dominant player by doing things we’d never seen before.
He was refining a game with seemingly endless potential. It was no secret how good he had gotten, but the fact that he was on a team destined for the draft lottery and given a ridiculous moniker made it seem impossible.
I kept an eye on Anthony Davis every chance I got, but it wasn’t until the playoffs were over that I realized he was on the cusp of elite status. A basketball monster-in-the-making whose passion for the game and talent were their own reward, he seemed to be living in his own little world.
When the 2014-2015 season begins, Davis will undoubtedly be a regular part of the broadcast. He should rank highly in many statistical categories for his league.
The Pelicans, playing in the West’s tough division, have a slim postseason chance at best. Offensively, Davis will be aided by guards Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon, and defensively, he will be joined by specialist Omer Asik. It’s possible that as far as Davis can take them, the Pelicans’ moderate capabilities go.
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