Anthony Davis‘ play this season may be the only thing that stands out more than his unibrow. From his days at Perspectives Charter high school in Chicago to his NBA career down in New Orleans, Davis has been the epitome of a stand out. He’s 6’10 with a 7’7 wingspan and controls the game on both offense and defense. He was the National Player of the year while leading one of the best college basketball teams of the millennium, the first pick in the 2012 NBA draft, and has quietly dominated ever since. Still, Davis and his intimidating connected-eyebrows, aren’t being feared the way they truly should be.
Davis has improved greatly during his time in the league, increasing in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and field goal percentage each year in the association. Davis is 21 years old, and is taking the league by storm averaging 24.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
What gives Davis the potential to be one of the all-time greats?
Davis possesses many of the components necessary to be a great player, and then some.
His guard-like skills are a result of him playing the guard position earlier in his basketball career, until a freakish growth spurt moved him down into the paint. He has a respectable mid-range game and can dribble better than your average big-man.
Down-low, though, is where Anthony Davis is truly special as he dominates the painted area like no other player in recent years. On offense, he has a myriad of post moves that befuddle useless defenders. His length combined with skill and strength result in him being an offensive force.
However, arguably Davis’ best attribute is his defense. A true rim-protector, the Chicago-native alters or blocks nearly every shot taken inside the painted area. This year, he leads the league in blocked shots at 2.7 per game. He also has quick hands, averaging 1.5 steals per game, second amongst PFs.
What truly seems to separate Davis is his superior work ethic. He has the ‘first guy in, last guy out’ mentality, which is evident due to his steady improvement. Every time you watch Davis play, he seems to have improved or added a new dimension to his game. This intangible trait is what gives Davis the potential to be one of the best big-men of all-time.
“AD23’s” consistent improvement has resulted in his monstrous 2014-2015 season. His current 31.8 PER rating (which accounts for everything a player does on the court) would be the highest in NBA history, surpassing greats like Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James. Davis’ defensive dominance makes him a shoe-in for Defensive Player of the Year , but he should also be in the MVP conversation. His offensive game has largely been responsible for the Pelicans being second in the NBA in points in the paint.
Despite just becoming able to consume a beer last year, the 21 year old phenom has great things ahead of him. With a complete offensive game, elite defensive ability, and an unparalleled work ethic, the Kentucky alumnus has the ability to etch his face into the Mt. Rushmore of basketball. Staying healthy and his performances resulting in wins are two attributes Davis needs to refine. A player this good, this young, has all the potential in the world. Sooner than you may think, the whole league will be fearing the brow.