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2017-18 Pelicans Season in Review: Anthony Davis
Pelicans.com continues its look back at the 2017-18 season with player-by-player analysis of the team
NBA experience: Six seasons (six with Pelicans)
Games played/started: 75/75
A fifth straight All-Star appearance was expected. A third selection to the All-NBA first team is likely. But two things that made Davis’ 2017-18 campaign more rewarding than any other were a 48-win regular season and his initial trip to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, on the strength of a 4-0 sweep vs. Portland.
As the sixth-year pro said in a December interview with ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, “Winning. That’s it. That’s how you're judged. You can score, you can dominate. You can do whatever. But they calculate everything off winning. You know that. I know that. Everybody in the league knows that. I hear it all the time: ‘Anthony is a good player, but he hasn’t won anything. He’s not a winner. He hasn’t been to the playoffs in two years.’”
No one’s saying that anymore. New Orleans did more winning than it has in a decade, with its perennial All-Star leading the way.
VOICE OF THE FAN
As part of our look back at the season, we checked in with Pelicans fans to get their feedback on 2017-18. First up: What was your favorite aspect of Davis’ season? Some of the responses were mentioned in the podcast portion of this season review, but here are a few others:
The way he put his team on his back when Boogie went down! He proved that he is a top 3 player in the league!
Davis finished third on NBA.com’s MVP ladder, behind only James Harden and LeBron James.
His dynamic ability to score. From anywhere he was lethal. He found his stride this season.
People talk increasingly about the new “unicorns” of the NBA, but no other young big possesses Davis’ skill set, featuring elite athleticism (211 dunks) and accurate perimeter shooting ability (55 made treys).
Ability to stretch the floor has been huge. Hope to see those %’s keep going up. - @BradL13
Davis registered career highs in shooting percentage on two-pointers (55.8) and three-pointers (34.0). In a statistical oddity, he still came a sliver shy of his best field-goal percentage, at 53.4, because he took 28 more threes than the previous season.
He showed great leadership and toughness with humility. His patience with allowing the game to unfold was great to see. Didn’t play rushed as far as I could see. MVP!!
Some star players feel pressure to force things offensively, but Davis simply does not take bad shots, never has. He still has room to improve as a passer, but set a career high by averaging 2.3 assists.