I’m disappointed in the lack of coverage there’s been on Anthony Davis this season. Really and truly, I know that he was supposed to be 1 of the 2 new ‘Twin Towers’ accompanied by DeMarcus Cousins, and quite frankly they were in a good place to make a case for being one of those teams to fear when the playoffs came about.
But here’s the thing, and it’s something I hate about the Western Conference but still appreciate – there are so many stars. You could say “what about KAT? What about Lillard? No love for the Nuggets? OKC Big 3?” Listen, all of those whom I’ve mentioned have had significantly more airtime than Anthony Davis that I have noticed. The NBA’s a long season, and yes you have to spread out the storylines that come about, but come on, people, let’s be real here, the Brow has been balling.
He’s having a career year, the Pelicans are in a position they haven’t been in since their names were the Hornets, which is to be a top 4 seed in the West heading into the playoffs (07-08 was the last time it happened), and quite frankly, while Davis is a phenomenal player in his own right, he has endured many bumps and bruises to get the Pelicans, and his game to this point.
It should be appreciated more, kind of like Demar DeRozan in Toronto (I couldn’t resist). I can’t recall off the top of my head which game it was, but I vividly remember the Pelicans winning a game at home and seeing Anthony Davis yell “We’re not losing anymore!”
Bless him for the optimism, but it did indeed look like they were on the rise, despite being swept in the 1st round to the then-NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. Blame injuries for the reason why he couldn’t ascend to his current level of play sooner, or blame the fact that New Orleans as an organization didn’t do a good job in putting talent around him. The point is that, it’s not an irregular story in the NBA, because in sports, as in life, shit happens, and Anthony Davis’ story is no exception.
So what happened to the Chicago kid to spark such a drastic change in his dominance this season? There were so many questions as to how the ball was going to be shared between himself and Boogie Cousins, whom both are capable of going for 40 and 20 on any given night, lets be real. There was a healthy glimpse of what was to come after the Kings traded Boogie to New Orleans, and then talks of ‘Twin Towers’ came to light. The 1st full season of the two together brought excitement and playoff chatter, which would have been the end of what was misery for a good portion of Davis’ duration in New Orleans.
They didn’t disappoint. They were on a significant role, and when you factor in the contributions from Rajon Rondo, I mean, never mind talks of the playoffs, there was a title contention conversation starting up, but the West is loaded, so that was absolutely not happening, and until Houston proves they can beat Golden State four times out of seven in the playoffs, the Warriors still run the West until further notice.
And then came January 26th; DeMarcus Cousins went down with a torn Achilles right before All Star Break, and then everything turned back to Anthony Davis – not that he wasn’t already carrying his own weight for the team, but now they needed him more than ever, and going backwards was not an option.
What this man proceeded to do in the month of February was not only historical, but…actually, I can’t even think of a proper word (or words) to describe what he did. Being the first player in 40 years to average at least 35 points and 10 rebounds in a calendar month doesn’t even make sense. Davis’ numbers were 35 & 13, and the Pelicans won 7 straight games, which started February 10th.
It’s been that kind of run that defines seasons, and Davis has also thrown his name into the MVP race, and rightfully so. Many people have James Harden as the shoe-in, but there are no guarantees in life. I mean, I think he’s still going to win because the Rockets are more than likely to capture the 1-seed in the West and probably overall.
Either way, Davis is doing a great deal leading his team to the next level – a level in which he’d like to stay for a long time. Adversity is one thing that Davis has had to deal with for his career, and that won’t change, but it’s the matter of gaining significant traction in order to get his team to a place where they can compete at a high level consistently, which is the ultimate goal. It would appear that he’s on that mission, come hell or high water, and we should revel in the production of greatness that’s coming with it.