The New Orleans Pelicans failed to reach the playoffs, but power forward and emerging star Anthony Davis succeeded in just about every way. Today we review his 2013-14 season and give him a grade based on his performance.
2013-14 Season Stats: 20.8 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 2.8 BPG, 51.9 FG%, 79.1 FT%, 26.54 PER
Overview: Anthony Davis had a great rookie season in 2012-13 and found ways to improve on it in great lengths this year. Not only did Davis develop into the best player on the Pelicans, but he developed into one of the best players in the entire NBA. Davis earned his first All-Star selection en route to becoming a terror in the paint.
One of Davis’ best abilities this season was his scoring as he averaged 20.8 points per game, good for 15th in the league. He took over the role of leading scorer for this year’s Pelicans squad and was efficient as well. He was getting points in the paint and off the pick-and-roll, as well as drawing fouls and getting to the line.
Davis was a blocking machine in college at Kentucky and in his second year in the NBA, that talent exposed itself. With 2.8 blocks per game, Davis led the entire NBA, and was a constant threat to swat every shot away. With 1.3 steals per game, Davis was one of the best overall defenders in the league.
On Mar. 16 against the Boston Celtics, Davis showed why he is a star in this league: 40 points, 21 rebounds, three blocks, 12-12 at the stripe, all in 48 minutes of play. In fact, it was just the 18th 40-20 game in the past 29 years, joining the likes of Larry Bird and Charles Barkley to do so.
Putting up numbers such as these is astounding for any player, so the sky appears to be the limit for the 21-year-old Anthony Davis.
Finding a flaw in Davis’ 2013-14 season might be one of the hardest tasks for anyone to accomplish. If you want to be nit-picky, you could say that Davis still has the tendency to miss periods of time with nagging injuries. Davis missed 15 games this year, including the final five games of the season. While it may not be a huge knock on Davis, it could start to hurt the Pelicans if this becomes a consistent problem.
Davis only puts up 1.0 assists per game, something he could improve on. He’s not a “ball hog,” but he may not be finding his teammates when they’re open for good shots.
Davis’ worst game of the season would have to be Nov. 25 against the San Antonio Spurs. In 33 minutes, Davis only scored 10 points on a dismal 3-of-8 shooting from the field. His rebounds were down too, only pulling down six boards. Davis was a shell of his normal self in the 93-112 loss. On the floor, he was a -20 and couldn’t make a serious impact on either ends of the court.
There weren’t too many lowlights for Davis this season, as he was one of the most well-rounded players in the league.
Whether you need defense, offense or rebounding, you can find it with Anthony Davis. In 2013-14, he jumped into the talk of top ten players in the league and is arguably one of the top three players at the power forward position. Anthony is living up the the number one overall pick hype, and will improve even more in 2014-15.
Season Grade: A
Shawn McFarland covers the New Orleans Pelicans for HoopsHabit.com