Jan 15, 2013, 2:33 PM EDT
The media hype surrounding Anthony Davis has been relatively quiet since the University of Kentucky big man was selected first overall in the 2012 NBA draft by the New Orleans Hornets. You could probably argue that more people know him better for his unibrow than his actual game.
But that’s all beginning to change. The Sixers missed Davis who was out with a concussion when they met the Hornets earlier in the season, but since returning to the lineup he’s been quietly turning into an all around talent in the League.
Rob Mahoney, writing for Sports Illustrated, shows how Davis is turning into a star on the court despite the lack of being a go-to scorer (at least currently) on the offensive end. I know a certain contingent of Philly fans who would probably hate him because he isn’t putting up 20 points a night. But it’s not all about scoring, people.
He works so well off the ball that he’s making the entire Hornets offense better, much like Tyson Chandler with the New York Knicks. The article takes a real solid look into what Davis specifically does without the ball in his hands, complete with YouTube examples. It’s worth your click.
For many, this notion of a potential superstar without a plainly viable
offensive game creates some basketball dissonance. Davis’ promise as a
defender may be universally accepted and lauded, but the players largely
considered to be the league’s best are far more similar to Lillard than
Davis: smooth with the ball, in charge in crunch time and utterly
unstoppable on offense for particularly dominant stretches. Davis isn’t
and may never be any of those things, and yet it hardly matters. Within
his bizarre offensive game isn’t just the next step in the natural
progression of the big man, but a glimpse at a transcendent specimen
several links ahead in the evolutionary chain. The 6-foot-10 Davis isn’t
merely set to be an all-world defender; he brings a groundbreaking
package of offensive skills and instincts at a time when basketball is
most amenable to his avant-garde game.
With the Sixers defense being one of the most frustrating aspects of this current squad, they could really have their hands full with a team like the Hornets. We’ll get to see how they match up with the skillset of Davis this evening.
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