Los Angeles Lakers: Anthony Davis Has Weathered The Storm

(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

The backstory on Anthony Davis has always been his rise to fame, literally. In high school, Davis played for Perspective Charter School on the South Side of Chicago. In junior high, Davis was known as the little guy who likes to shoot threes from the corner. This is where it gets interesting. At the end of his freshman year, Davis stood at 6 feet. By the end of his sophomore year, Davis grew to be 6 feet 4. By the start of his junior season, Davis was at 6 feet 8. Davis was growing into a star.

The rise of Anthony Davis was expected since he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2012. Coming out of the University of Kentucky, Davis averaged 14.2 points and 10.7 rebounds but he was viewed as a top defensive player after providing 4.7 blocks per game in just one season. This is exactly what the NBA needed at the time. Little did anyone know that this defensive powerhouse would grow to be one of the top offensive players in the game.
(Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)
In his first season after being selected by the New Orleans Hornets, Davis played in 60 games and averaged just 13.5 points and 8.2 rebounds with 1.8 blocks while shooting .516 percent from the floor. Davis did exactly what he did in college. In the summer of 2013, Davis would earn a Gold Medal with the Olympic Team and that experience changed his outlook on the game.

The following year, Anthony Davis took the NBA by storm. During the 2013-14 season, Davis upped his scoring average to 20.8 points per game and his rebounding to 10.0. He would also go on to lead the NBA in blocks shots with 2.8 per game. Davis was on his way. That same year he would begin his run of six straight All-Star appearances.

For the 2014-15 NBA season, Davis upped the ante even more for big men. He went on to average a career-high in points per game (24.4), rebounds (10.2) blocks (2.9), minutes per (36.1), and FG% (.535). What else was there for him to do? Team-wise, Davis still was on the outside looking in, in terms of playoff appearances. That was about to change as the Pelicans advance to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

Davis would make his presence felt during the playoffs with averages of 31.5 points and 11.0 rebounds. However, it wasn’t enough as the Pelicans would be bounced in the first round. The very next season, Davis had to prove his outburst the previous year was no fluke. For the 2015-16 season, he would go on to average 24.3 points and 10.3 rebounds while shooting. 493 percent from the floor. But the Pelicans would once again miss the playoffs. It was now clear that either Davis was not built to lead or the New Orleans Pelicans just couldn’t find the right talent to surround him with.

For the 2016-17 season, the Pelicans thought they had the right mix. Davis would play in 75 games (his most ever) and averaged 28.0 points and 11.8 rebounds while hitting .505 percent of his shots. Now he was a bonafide star. That season, Davis did it all. While still considered a low post threat, he was now knocking down perimeter shots and displayed a great handle for a player his size. All that was missing was the playoff success. That season, it wasn’t meant to be either. The rumors began to swirl that teams were inquiring about the superstar and for the first time, there was a chance that Davis could be moved for the right price.

For the 2017-18 season, Davis came out the gate hot and remained that way for the entire season. Davis mirrored his previous campaign with averages of 28.1 points and 11.1 rebounds while shooting .534 percent from the floor. Then the Pelicans did the unthinkable during the NBA trade deadline and brought in another star to pair with Davis in the frontcourt. No longer paired with backcourt mates, DeMarcus Cousins was added to give the Pelicans possibly the best frontcourt in the NBA. But then it all went downhill right before the playoffs when Cousins was injured and Davis was left holding the bag, yet again.

That offseason, instead of signing Cousins, the Pelicans let him go, and with that move came whispers that Anthony Davis finally had enough of the losing and wanted out. As the 2018-19 season started, the Pelicans did their best to surround him with a solid core. It was too late as the damage was already done. In 56 games, Davis would average 25.9 points and 12.0 rebounds to go with 2.4 blocks while hitting .517 percent of his shots. But it was clear, his days in New Orleans was over.

During the trade deadline, there was a rumored deal in place to send him to the Los Angeles Lakers for what was considered the Lakers starting 5 except for LeBron James. While that deal fell through, the memo was out that Davis was for sale to the highest bidder.

During the offseason, the Lakers and Pelicans engaged in talks again and this time, neither team was going to walk away empty-handed. The Lakers would send, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, De’Andre Hunter, Brandon Ingram, and draft picks to the Pelicans for Davis. And just like that, the Davis era in New Orleans was over.

Now, as he embarks on a new chapter with James and a bigger market in LA, fans are left wondering just what type of player Davis really is?

Getty Images
Despite making the playoffs just two times in his career, Anthony Davis is still considered one of if not the best PF in the game. His numbers alone give that distinction but for Lakers fans, they’re waiting to see what he can do with capable talent around him.

To question what he has done in the NBA is not the wisest of choices.

Davis has taken a team on his shoulders and done all he could. His numbers are sure-fire Hall of Fame worthy and yet, he’s just 26 years old. In seven full seasons, Davis has made six All-Star appearances, scored over 11,000 points, grabbed over 4,900 rebounds, and blocked over 1,100 shots. Davis has made the All-NBA First Team three times and has been named to the ALL-NBA Defensive Team (1st-2nd) three times. He’s a stud. The special part is, many still believe that Davis has not hit his ceiling yet.

As the Los Angeles Lakers and 21 other NBA teams head down to Orlando for the NBA resumption this month, eyes will be glued to LeBron but it will be the play of Anthony Davis that will determine if the Lakers walk away champs.

Avatar
About Mark Wilson 50 Articles
Mark started his writing journey covering the Brooklyn Nets for Rant Sports then ventured out on his own to start TLS. He's currently a lead NBA/NFL writer for Clutch Points, while also contributing on Screen Rant as a lead Entertainment writer. His work has been featured on Bleacher Report, Yahoo Sports, Fansided, Fox Sports, Teen Vogue, and more.

1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. LeBron and Lakers' Biggest Test is the Miami Heat - Nuts and Bolts Sports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.