Are injuries and heavy minutes holding Anthony Davis back?

Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images /

Missing five games so far due to injuries has been a hinderance to Anthony Davis. With the New Orleans Pelicans having a 15-15 record, the Brow’s health and minutes need to monitored moving forward.

Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans are still skating by in the always tough Western Conference. Sporting a .500 record in 30 games is borderline impressive compared to their struggles the last few seasons. A lot of improvements have been made on this squad so far this season.

Some of that can be attributed to the leadership that Anthony Davis has exhibited in his fifth year in the NBA, allowing DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo and other key acquisitions to be fully integrated into an offense that was designed specifically to cater to Davis’ talent.

In 30 games, his step back from the offense has drawn a mixed bag in the overall standings for the New Orleans Pelicans. Some of that can be attributed to Anthony Davis missing five games due to a variety of injuries.

His health is the biggest factor in determining if the Pelicans can reach the upper echelon in the Western Conference, or whether they’re a borderline playoff team to be knocked out in the first round in April.

It’s hard to put pressure on DeMarcus Cousins to carry the team solely on his shoulders if Davis suffers another injury down the road. That type of scenario could make Cousins think twice in re-signing with the Pelicans during the offseason.


So far this season, Anthony Davis is averaging 25.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Those three statistics are a bit down from what he was averaging last season, but looking at the rest of his stats paints a different type of story.

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His field goal attempts (16.2 attempts) are his lowest since the 2013-14 season. He’s a lot more efficient with his shots, which is why he’s posting the highest field goal percentage of his career at 56.9 percent.

What’s also eye-popping about the growth of Anthony Davis this season is his playmaking abilities. He’s averaging 2.6 assists per game, which is a career high and that isn’t by accident.

Maybe playing off of both DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo rubbed off on Davis by making the right passes to open teammates, but either way, the Pelicans are currently ranked second in the league in assists. That traces back to guys like Cousins and Davis making the right play during these first 30 games in the season.

Health concerens

The one concern the coaching staff will need to monitor is his health. The Brow is averaging 35.3 minutes per game, which has been the norm for him the past few seasons.

But what is more concerning is that he has at least played 40 minutes or more in 10 games so far this season. If the Pelicans do want to win a lot of games while keeping Anthony Davis healthy and fresh throughout the year, they’ll need to be careful on how they deploy him.

If he continues to play a stretch of games that tops 40 minutes a night, he’ll most likely re-aggravate the injuries he’s sustained so far this season. Anthony Davis seems to be at his best when plays after two days of rest, where his numbers goes through the roof.

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But back-to-back games or games separated by a day usually hamper his production, especially if his minutes are north of his season average. If the coaching staff can manage that moving forward, Anthony Davis will be superstar to be reckoned with consistently in the NBA.