June 28th, 2012, the day of the 2012 NBA Draft. While many surprises were set to happen that night, there was one thing that was more than guaranteed: who would be the No. 1 overall draft pick. It would be Kentucky’s Anthony Davis.
Davis came off of a stellar season in which he averaged 14.2 points per game, 10.4 rebounds per game, and an eye popping 4.7 blocks per game. He was named as a consensus first-team All American, and led the Wildcats to an NCAA championship. Throughout the season, and as the draft approached, it was becoming clearer and clearer that Davis was going to be drafted No. 1 overall.
And so Davis was taken No. 1 overall to the New Orleans Hornets (who later changed their name to the New Orleans Pelicans), and in under two years after that draft, Davis has become the face of the franchise, and maybe even one of the faces of the NBA.
After an impressive rookie season, in which he did miss time here and there due to nagging injuries, Davis came out in the 2013-2014 season and made NBA fans everywhere stop and stare.
Through 58 games played, Anthony Davis has amassed numbers of 21.4 points per game, 10.4 rebounds per game, and 2.9 blocks per game. Scary numbers, right? What’s even scarier is that he just turned 21 years old on March 11. It’s clear that Anthony is the top player on his team, but is it time to start calling Davis the top power forward in the entire NBA?
Davis has the second highest Player Efficiency Rating (PER) at the power forward position in the league, 27.14, behind Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (27.92). Davis is tied for fourth in the league for scoring at the power forward position with Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki at 21.4 points per game. He is third in his position league-wide at rebounding, trailing only Love and LaMarcus Aldridge. Davis is, however, leading his position, and the entire league, in blocks per game. He comes in third at steals with 1.4 per game, and between those and his block numbers, he is a leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.
Davis has posted these numbers consistently, but he also has the ability to completely dominate a game, like on March 16, an overtime win against the Boston Celtics. Davis dropped astounding numbers of 40 points, 21 rebounds, and 3 blocks. After the game, Boston’s head coach Brad Stevens said the following:
Brad Stevens on Anthony Davis: “I think he’s unreal… If there are 10 better players in the league I haven’t seen them.”
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 17, 2014
Anthony’s stats are more than impressive for a player in his second season, and he’s developing into one of the best players of the year, but it still might be too early to call him the best power forward in the league. He still falls behind players like the aforementioned Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge in certain categories, but Davis is catching up fast.
Give Anthony Davis one more season, and maybe we’ll be talking about him as the best power forwards in the league, but until then, the numbers don’t lie.