The New Orleans Pelicans have been struggling to stay relevant in the NBA, but that changed on Monday with their acquisition of Anthony Davis. In his short time with the team, he’s already becoming one of their best players and a top player in general- something they sorely needed. So what does this mean for other teams in need?
Anthony Davis is an American professional basketball player for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association. He was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 5th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Davis stands at 6 feet, 10 inches (2.08 m) tall and weighs 260 pounds (118 kg). Read more in detail here: anthony davis height.
The NBA is home to 450 of the world’s best athletes. A few dozen of them have at least once been named to the All-Star squad. Only around 10 players in the NBA’s skill pool have the sort of all-around game that qualifies them as superstars. The few of athletes with the sort of gravity and all-around skill to place within the top-5 are among the league’s finest.
Anthony Davis is a 6-10 big man who excels on offense and defense at all three levels of the floor, and at the age of 28, he has a long list of accomplishments:
– NBA Champion in 2020
– Eight-time All-Star
– 4x All-Defensive selection
– Three-time Block Champion
– 4x All-NBA selection
– Team for the NBA’s 75th Anniversary
Despite this, without LeBron James on the floor, Anthony Davis has failed to win games for the Lakers this season as the number one option, finishing 4-7. Two of the six defeats were against the lowly Thunder, while one occurred at home against the 8-9 Timberwolves.
Things came to a head for “The Brow” when the Lakers were thrashed by the then-7-8 Milwaukee Bucks, who were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 47 points on 18-23 shooting and his wimpy 18 points (7 less than Talen Horton-Tucker). Davis’ “struggles” with Giannis inspired ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith to remark the following about the Lakers center:
“We feel he is one of the best five players in basketball when we look at his ‘Anthony Davis’ skill set. Do you recall what we discovered conclusively last night? He has no place in that discussion. Anthony Davis is one of my favorite actors. But when a man like Giannis says, “I don’t give a damn who you are, you ain’t on my level, and I’m going straight at you and straight for you,” your thinking and that thing within your chest are called into question. And the coaching staff will have to find someone else to replace Giannis since you aren’t up to the task, and you are Anthony Davis. That is an issue……”
What should we believe?
Are AD’s achievements, abilities, and 2020 championship sufficient to place him in the top five? Is Stephen A accurate in his assessment that Anthony Davis lacks the mentality required to be among the NBA’s top five players?
We’ll present the argument for Anthony Davis as a top-5 player, as well as the evidence against him, before reaching a conclusion.
Anthony Davis’ Case For Being A Top-5 NBA Player
On Sunday night, LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart drew a lot of attention for their matchup in Detroit, but Anthony Davis quietly helped the struggling Lakers win.
Anthony Davis ran back on defense and dug in against Pistons point guard Cade Cunningham from beyond the arc with 1:03 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Lakers clinging to a three-point lead. Cunningham fired himself from deep after a strong right dribble. He was swatted by AD. Cunningham snatched the lost ball and scanned the Lakers’ center AD before charging into the lane hard to his right. “The Brow” smashed him at the rim once again, recording his second block in as many seconds. As Russell Westbrook snatched the rebound, AD remained unfazed. With 47.8 seconds left on the clock, he ran down the court and converted a driving layup, extending the Lakers’ advantage to an insurmountable five points.
After playing a game-high 39 minutes, how many big guys can stuff a point guard from the perimeter, block him at the rim, and then run down the court for a layup?
Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo are two of the best players in the NBA. That is all there is to it.
Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Rudy Gobert are all excellent centers, but they are too sluggish to defend a point guard from beyond the arc. Bam Adebayo (0.4 BPG) and Julius Randle (0.8 BPG) are All-Stars, but they’re too short to get numerous blocks in a single possession.
Anthony Davis is the NBA’s most versatile player. Nobody has as much of an offensive and defensive effect as he does.
Carmelo Anthony (502nd in DEFRTG last season), Wayne Ellington (461st in DEFRTG), Malik Monk (199th in DEFRTG), and Rajon Rondo (124th in DEFRTG) were all signed by Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka during the summer. To make things worse, Trevor Ariza, Talen Horton-Tucker, and LeBron James, the Lakers’ top three perimeter defenders, have all missed considerable time.
Simply stated, the Lakers have the weakest overall group of perimeter defenders in the NBA this season.
Despite this, the Lakers are ranked 20th in the league in defensive rating, thanks almost entirely to Anthony Davis’s all-around defensive ability.
Focus on AD for a quarter or two during a Lakers game. He’ll stifle pick-and-roll moves at the basket, jet out to torment open three-point shooters, and switch onto quick guards beyond the arc. “The Brow” has been on an island for the most of the season, but he never looks down as he watches Carmelo Anthony blast past him for an easy layup. After an opposition wing bullies Malik Monk for an easy 8-foot jumper, he doesn’t smack his hands on his hips. AD continues to play hard and try his best till reinforcements come.
On the offensive end, AD just has one flaw: his three-point shooting. This season, AD is shooting an appalling 18.9% from beyond the arc on 1.9 tries per game. Davis, on the other hand, has a good overall stroke.
Check out his filming schedule for 2021-2022:
76.2 percent for children aged 0 to 3 feet
42.2 percent from 3 to 10 ft
34.9 percent at 10-16 feet
44.9 percent at 16 feet on the 3P line
18.9% of the time is spent outside of the arc.
74.0 percent from the free throw line
Compare AD’s shooting percentages to Giannis Antetokounmpo, the only other player in the NBA with a similar defensive impact:
79.2 percent of people between the ages of 0 and 3 feet
33.3 percent from 3 to 10 ft
38.2 percent at 10-16 ft
42.9 percent at 16 feet on the 3P line
27.5 percent beyond the arc
69.2 percent from the free throw line
Giannis has put in a lot of effort to perfect his shooting technique, and his stats have progressively increased over time. However, go deeper and you’ll notice that Giannis will have trouble keeping opposing defenders honest with his outside stroke in the playoffs. Giannis is making 42.9 percent of his shots from 16 feet to the three-point line, but he’s only taking 8.4 percent of his tries from that range, much below two per game and insufficient to clear the center of the court against a set defense in the playoffs.
Anthony Davis suffers from long range, but he makes up for it by shooting 19.6 percent of his total shots from 16 feet or closer to the arc, where he hits on 44.9 percent of his tries. AD is a beast around the rim, has a good post-up game, and his deep midrange shooting allows him to stretch the floor.
Anthony Davis’ Case Against Being a Top-5 Player
There’s no arguing that Anthony Davis is one of the league’s most skilled two-way forces in the previous decade.
The argument against “The Brow” being in the top five is based only on his victories and defeats.
During his seven seasons in New Orleans, Anthony Davis put up tremendous statistics, making the All-Star game six times and earning the title of NBA’s most skilled big man. During three seasons, he averaged over 25 points per game, over 10 rebounds per game, and led the league in blocks. With a league-leading 30.8 PER in 2015 and a league-leading 30.3 PER in 2019, his player efficiency rating (PER) became the stuff of legends, rivaling Michael Jordan’s early years.
Despite the overwhelming odds, AD was never victorious.
He reached the playoffs twice in his seven years in New Orleans, the first in 2015, when the Warriors swept them in the first round, and the second in 2018, when they advanced to the second round before being swept by the Warriors (gentlemen’s).
In seven years, AD appeared in a total of 13 postseason games, none of which he won.
When compared to other contemporary league greats, the following are some examples:
Stephen Curry has 58 playoff games and one championship in seven seasons.
Kevin Durant has appeared in 73 postseason games over the course of seven seasons, including one finals trip.
Nikola Jokic has appeared in 43 postseason games in just six seasons.
LeBron James has 71 playoff games and one finals appearance in seven seasons.
Kevin Durant was flanked by two eventual MVP winners in Russell Westbrook and James Harden, while Stephen Curry was accompanied by All-Stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
The cupboards of Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, and LeBron James were all empty. Jokic has never played alongside an All-Star, and throughout the 2008-2009 season, LeBron James only played with one All-Star, Mo Williams.
Anthony Davis had never won a significant championship before he was transferred to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019. He won his first championship after teaming up with possibly the greatest player of all time, LBJ, scoring 27.7 points per game and 9.7 rebounds while shooting 57.1 percent from the field in the playoffs.
Anthony Davis is a brilliant player who shone among a quality team for the Lakers on the verge of making the playoffs, but he can’t do it alone.
Is Anthony Davis one of the best players in the world?
Kobe Bryant is a Hall of Famer who prioritized victory above everything else. Fans love to speak about the five championships he delivered to Los Angeles throughout his tenure, but few people discuss his tenth year in the league.
Smush Parker, Kwame Brown, Devean George, Chris Mihm, and Brian Cook alternated with Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom in the Lakers’ starting lineup during the 2005-2006 NBA washouts. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers to the playoffs by himself, scoring 35.4 points per game while playing the greatest perimeter defense in the league and competing harder than any other player in the past decade. The 2006 Lakers would have won fewer than 15 games without Bryant. They finished 45-37 with Bryant and pushed the extremely skilled Phoenix Suns to seven games in the Western Conference first round before falling.
The league’s best players do what Kobe did in 2006: they assure a playoff spot.
Who secures their team’s playoff success in this current version of the NBA?
Stephen Curry: Last season, he “dragged” a Golden State Warriors team with an underwhelming core of Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr, James Wiseman, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Draymond Green into the play-in round (which is part of the playoffs) by averaging 32.0 points per game and 42.1 percent from three-point range on a staggering 12.7 attempts per game.
Kevin Durant: Despite missing much of last season due to injury, KD demonstrated he had the most gravitas in the league by attacking single coverages as if he were alone. More importantly, after Kyrie Irving went down with an injury and James Harden struggled with a hamstring issue in the playoffs, Kevin Durant averaged 35.4 points per game in the second round of the Eastern Conference Finals against the eventual champion Bucks, coming inches away from advancing his Nets to the next round at the end of game seven.
Nikola Jokic: Last season, Jokic was named MVP after averaging almost a triple-double with 26.4 points per game, 10.8 rebounds per game, and 8.3 assists per game. Jamal Murray, an All-Star possibility, tore his ACL halfway through the 2020-2021 season, creating a huge vacuum in the Denver team at point guard. Without their leading point guard, most teams would have been crippled, but Jokic and the Nuggets didn’t skip a beat, finishing third in the Western Conference.
LeBron James: LBJ is 36 years old and has missed most of the season due to injury. Don’t dismiss “The King.” James blasted 39 points on the Pacers two nights ago in Indianapolis, securing the Lakers’ win while also putting the league on notice that, when healthy, he’s still one of the best chances to drive his team into the NBA playoffs.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: Giannis’ offensive flaws make him a difficult opponent to game prepare against. Fans have chastised AD’s play without LBJ, but Giannis went 3-7 this season without Khris Middleton. In reality, without Jrue Holiday’s signing and Middleton’s metamorphosis from a solid 3-and-D player to a true star, Giannis would not have won the championship last year.
Despite this, Giannis’s never-say-die attitude propels him into the top five. “The Greek Freak” is unyielding. On a Tuesday night in Orlando, in front of 10,000 people, he gives it his all. He has the most “Kobe” in him of any player in the NBA right now, despite his shooting limitations. His aversion to losing ensures a playoff berth for his team.
Beyond his attitude, Giannis has the hardware to back up his claim to the top five. He is a two-time MVP winner who also has a Defensive Player of the Year trophy and a Finals MVP trophy.
Finally, we must not forget that Giannis was the greatest player on the Bucks’ championship team last season, a position in the sky that few players ever reach. If it isn’t already a regulation, the chip leader must be one of the top five players in the world.
With no established support, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Luka Doncic, and Anthony Davis find themselves in the second tier, still in the top-10, but unable to carry their team into the NBA’s second season.
When he’s on the floor, Kawhi Leonard is a robotic basketball beast who takes no prisoners. The issue is that he’s wounded around half of the time.
James Harden is a former MVP who has shared the court alongside future Hall of Famers Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook but has yet to reach the NBA Finals. He could be slowing down enough now that he’s 32 to be taken out of the debate.
Luka Doncic, at the age of 22, is a one-of-a-kind athlete who has a chance to win several MVP honors during his career. He still has to develop and understand the ins and outs of winning after just three full seasons in the league. In addition, he has far too many defensive flaws to be ranked among the top five.
It was difficult to leave Anthony Davis out of our top five.
People forget that the Lakers were up 2-1 on the eventual Western Conference Champion Phoenix Suns last year in the playoffs until AD imposed his will on Deandre Ayton and the rest of the team. The Suns didn’t take control of the series until Davis went down with an injury in game four.
Anthony Davis is a winner in his own right, having helped the Lakers win the NBA championship in 2020 with a fantastic two-way performance in the playoffs.
Despite AD’s achievements, Stephen A is correct in his assessment of him: he lacks the mentality to go out and smash teams every night like Kobe Bryant did at the turn of the century or Curry, Durant, Jokic, James, and Giannis do now.
Anthony Davis will have to settle for being the world’s sixth best player, a magnificent athlete in desperate need of a partner to achieve actual success in the league.
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Anthony Davis is a professional basketball player for the New Orleans Pelicans. He was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended the University of Kentucky. He is currently considered to be one of the best players in the NBA. Reference: anthony davis wife.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Anthony Davis a top 10 player?
A: My answer is Anthony Davis is a top 10 player, but he might be in the middle of the pack.
What position is Anthony Davis?
Who was Anthony Davis Best Man?
A: Anthony Davis was best man at the wedding of Byron Scott and Shawn Marion.
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