Anthony Davis: Progress Report
In college, his height and footwork made him a dominant go-to post scorer. In the pros, his height isn’t anything of an anomaly, but he has a variety of different skills, and he’s been able to find success through different methods.
He’s got a fluid jump-shot that extends to just before the three-point arc, a dangerous weapon from any 6’10” player. He runs the floor amazingly well, better than just about any other big man in the league.
Playing as a guard in his first few years of high school, Davis developed great ball-handling skills. After his growth spurt, he managed to maintain a great deal of his fluidity on the court and in result, he’s undoubtedly one of the quicker big men in the NBA.
What prevents Davis from getting over the “B+” territory is that he hasn’t proven he can be the Hornets “go-to” guy, quite yet. Shooting a respectable 51% from the floor is nice, but 10.4 shots per game is a little low on a team where Ryan Anderson and Greivis Vasquez shoot 14 and 13 shots a game respectively at 43% each.
Davis’s season high is 28 points, which came in November against Milwaukee when he shot 10-13 from the field and 8-9 from the line. Averaging 13 points per game on the season, it would be nice to see Davis take more of a front-seat in the Hornets offense the rest of the way, but there’s really no reason to think that Davis doesn’t have all the tools necessary to be the #1 offensive option.
He’s already put together a good chunk of blocks for the highlight reels and if there was anyone doubting his defensive dominance would transfer from the NBA, you can just ask Richard Jefferson, or about a dozen more players who have already had their shots swatted by the rookie.
On top of his 1.9 blocks per game, Davis has also averaged 1.1 steals per game. Yet the most impressive defensive stat so far for Davis is his 2.1 personal fouls per game. A lot of rookies struggle to adjust to the physicality of the pros and that leads to a lot of fouls, but Davis has managed to play smart, responsible defense. Only one player that’s averaging 1.9 or more blocks this year has been whistled for fouls less: Tim Duncan.
Going along with the 2.1 fouls per game, what makes Davis such a stud is his knowledge for the game and ability to know right from wrong. Everyone was waiting for him to finally have a bad game in the NCAA tournament last March, but it never happened. Davis is humble, always thinking, and never gets rattled.
His 1.4 turnovers a game are a perfect example of his intelligence. In January, he’s only had one game so far where he’s turned the ball over more than once, and three games in which he hasn’t turned it over at all.
We’ll see if Lillard keeps dominating the headlines, but Hornets fans have a lot to look forward to with one of the league’s brightest young players in their frontcourt.