Despite still being considered a work in progress by many, Anthony Davis is having the rookie season we all dreamed of for him, averaging 13.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg, and 1.7 blocks per game on the season. Davis’ biggest competition? Damian Lillard, a rookie for the Portland Trailblazers out of Weber State, averaging 19 ppg, 6.5 assists, and 3.2 rebounds on the season (21.2 ppg and 6.6 assists after the break). Both stars have shown improvement in the past few weeks, and while Lillard is seen as the more complete player, Patrick Michael of Yahoo! Sports thinks Davis is gaining some ground in the Rookie oft he Year race:
Considering he just turned 20 on March 11 and he was still in high school two years ago, Anthony Davis is having an exceptional NBA rookie season. Slowed early on by injuries, Davis had a difficult learning curve in acclimating to the Hornets’ offense. Despite what some considered a slow start, Davis is averaging 13.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. He leads NBA rookies in rebounds and blocks, which looks good on his Rookie of the Year resume.
Since the NBA All-Star break, Davis has improved tremendously for New Orleans. He has confidence in his mid-range jumper and with an obvious better understanding of the Hornets’ offense, New Orleans is now running plays for him. In the 17 games he’s played after the break, Davis is averaging 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. Hornets coach Monty Williams has also increased Davis’ playing time.
Anthony Davis’ basketball career has been defined by periods of intense growth, both literally with his height and in basketball smarts and game play. Regardless of whether or not he wins ROY, he’s going to continue to improve throughout the rest of this season and will be closer to realizing his full potential as an NBA shot-blocking monster.