Reasons To Be Excited About Training Camp: No. 2 Anthony Davis
No. 2: Anthony Davis
USA Today’s website is currently in the midst of a countdown it’s calling “NBA Watchability Rankings.” Intended partly for avid pro basketball fans who subscribe to NBA League Pass, the rundown listed the New Orleans Pelicans as the 11th-most entertaining (i.e. watchable) team.
Though an above-average ranking wasn’t bad, many hoops aficionados would say that the presence of Anthony Davis alone should move the Pelicans at least into the top 10. Around the league, no second-year NBA player will be watched more closely than Davis, including last season’s Rookie of the Year winner Damian Lillard (by the way, Portland was 14th on USA Today’s list).
Last season, New Orleans’ prized rookie was closely monitored by Monty Williams and his staff, with Williams electing to protect the 220-pound Davis from potentially negative matchups with physically imposing centers such as Dwight Howard and Roy Hibbert. As a result, Davis averaged just 28.8 minutes per game, nearly 10 minutes fewer than Lillard’s 38.6. Davis finished his rookie campaign with averages of 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals, quality numbers for sure, but ones that would’ve been even more impressive had he logged 35-plus minutes per game.
Having added about a dozen pounds to his 6-foot-10 frame, Davis’ workload is likely to increase noticeably in Year 2, giving fans everywhere more opportunities to watch the 2012 NCAA champion blossom.
As SI.com put it midway through last season, Davis “has been every bit as good as his predraft hype suggested and, amazingly, he has even more terrifying potential than advertised. This is the beginning of something truly special.”