Anthony Davis had a historic night for the New Orleans Pelicans but it wasn’t enough to beat the Denver Nuggets on opening night.
Anthony Davis has been a sleeper pick for many people on preseason MVP lists. He is oozing with talent but struggles to stay on the court because of injuries. He has never played more than 68 games in a season, and he is entering his fifth year in the league.
The injury-prone label is attached to Davis until further notice, but when he is on the court there are few players that rival his skills.
Those skills were on full display opening night. Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans hosted the Denver Nuggets to start their 2016-17 season. It was a long night for the Nuggets as they saw first half just how good Davis is when he is on the court..
Davis put together a historic performance against the Nuggets. The Nuggets have an impressive stable of young big men. Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic in the starting lineup and Kenneth Faried off the bench are a strong trio. But, none of them had an answer for Davis on Wednesday night.
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Davis was head and shoulders the best player on the court as he dominated on both ends of the court. Davis would go into halftime with 28 points, five rebounds and five assists; numbers many people would take for a full game.
But he was only getting started as he continued to pour it on in the second half.
Davis finished the game with a mind-blowing stat line. He scored an efficient 50 points, shooting 17-of-34 from the field and 16-of-17 from the foul line.
In addition to the monster point total, Davis provided 16 rebounds, five assists, seven steals, and four blocks. Just how dominant of a night did Davis have? It is something that has never happened in the history of the NBA.
Mason Ginsberg of Bourbon Street Shots, a New Orleans sports blog and ESPN TrueHoop network member, had some fun on his Twitter account with the performance. He tried to see if any player had ever matched the stat line that Davis put up on opening night and this is what he found.
Add in Quincy Pondexter, another projected starter sidelined because of knee surgeries, and the Pelicans are very shorthanded. Only two other teammates, Tim Frazier and Lance Stephenson, shot 50 percent against the Nuggets; Frazier was 6-for-10 and Stephenson was 4-for-7.
The Pelicans are going to have to find a way to get Davis some help until they can get their players; they cannot let performances like this one go to waste. Davis is extremely talented but even the best players need help to win games.