New Orleans Pelicans’ guard Anthony Davis started the season historically, and the NBA notices his potential.
Golden State Warrior star Kevin Durant predicted that Anthony Davis is going to lead the league in scoring.
“[Anthony Davis is] probably going to lead the league in scoring this year easily… 50 for him is a good game, and now [he’s like] move it to the next one,” Durant said before their matchup with Davis on Friday via ESPN. “It’s kind of a customary night for him, so we’ve got to be prepared tonight.”
The 2014 NBA MVP also said Davis is hard to defend. Durant said Davis could shoot, dribble, and hit the three.
Durant also complimented Davis’ first step. “His first step is probably the quickest I’ve seen in a while at his position,” the Warriors forward said.
Durant made that statement before Davis recorded 45 points and 17 rebounds in the loss to Golden State.
Davis became only the seventh player in NBA history to record at least 45 points and 15 rebounds in consecutive games. That puts Davis on a list with Charles Barkley, Elgin Baylor, Walt Bellamy, Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone, and Bob McAdoo. Davis also joined Michael Jordan as the only two players to score 90 points in their team’s first two games of the season, per ESPN.
If Davis leads the league in scoring as Durant predicts, he will become the first big man to lead the league in scoring since Shaq O’Neal. Shaq’s 29.7 topped Allen Iverson in 2000, according to Yahoo Sports. Otherwise, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob McAdoo, and David Robinson are also among the only big men to win the scoring title.
This is the first time Anthony Davis has ever scored 40 Pts in consecutive games pic.twitter.com/OaTe16S4xt— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) October 29, 2016
He says that Davis will make a solid NBA MVP argument, but he could have problems thanks to his team. A player has not won MVP when his team failed to win more than 50 games since Moses Malone in 1982, according to Forbes.
Both of Davis’ great starts occurred in Pelican’s losses. The Pelicans also lost the season opener to Denver despite Davis’ 50-point outing. The rest of his team scored a combined 52 points.
HoopsHabit reports that Davis traditionally plays better in the first few games of the season than the rest of the year.
Davis’ first five games since 2013 per HoopsHype:
- 2013-14: 21.2 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 2.2 SPG, 4.0 BPG (six block game in sixth game)
- 2014-15: 24.4 PPG, 12.8 RPG, 2.2 SPG, 4.4 BPG (six blocks in sixth game)
- 2015-16: 25.2 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 3.0 BPG
Davis already came back to earth with just 18 points in the loss to the Spurs on Saturday, the third game of the season. It remains to be seen if he can keep scoring 40-plus points consistently.
In three games this season, Davis averages 37.7 minutes, 37.7 points, 3 blocks, 3 steals, 2.7 assists and 12.7 rebounds. In 61 games last season, Davis averaged 35.5 minutes, 24.3 points, 3 blocks, 1.2 steals, and 10.3 rebounds.
Adding to the impressiveness of his first two games, Davis had his historic start after he suffered an ankle sprain in the preseason. The injury did not cause him to miss any of the regular season this year, but Davis has missed at least 14 games in each of his four seasons. An injury is probably the only thing that could prevent Davis from winning the scoring title or the NBA MVP.
Obviously, it is still early in the season. Nonetheless, Kevin Durant is one of the first to notice Anthony Davis’ potential for a special season.
The Pelicans’ next game is against the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. Will Anthony Davis have another historic night or is he back to less impressive numbers? Either way, Davis put Kevin Durant and the NBA on notice with a couple of huge games.
[Featured Image by Darren Abate/ AP Images]