Anthony Davis dominates Magic, looks set for breakout season we all predicted

The run-up to the 2014-15 NBA season featured several steady storylines, including the return of Lebron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kobe Bryant‘s attempt to play at an elite level at 36 years old, and the Philadelphia 76ers’ grand experiment of rebuilding without putting their promising young players on the the floor. One of the most common stories of this group has been the ascent of 21-year-old New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, who made his first All-Star team last season and starred for Team USA at the FIBA World Cup this summer. Most analysts have predicted that Davis will challenge for All-NBA First Team honors this year and could even drag the Pelicans to the playoffs all by himself. He seems to have no real ceiling.

Davis made those projections look pretty good in Tuesday night’s season opener against the Orlando Magic in New Orleans. The Pelicans star finished with 26 points (10-of-22 shooting), 17 rebounds, nine blocks, three steals, and two assists in a 101-84 win. Beyond the numbers, Davis changed the game at both ends and looked like a two-way force who can lead New Orleans into a bright future.

Davis’s line puts him in select company. He is the first player to hit those totals of points, rebounds, and blocks in the same game since Dwight Howard in November 2008. And only one other player has matched Davis’s points, rebounds, blocks, and steals since the 1985-86 season — Hakeem Olajuwon, who did it four times in his career (via PBT). For that matter, Davis and new teammate Omer Asik became the first duo to log 15 rebounds and five blocks apiece in the same game since Tim Duncan and David Robinson in 1998. One game in and Davis is already in some pretty impressive company.

It’s a safe bet that Davis will face challenges throughout this season, if only because the Pelicans will lean on him regularly and the Magic could be one of the worst teams in the league yet again. However, the season opener proves that all the talk about becoming one of basketball’s best players isn’t just hype. He may be at that level already.

Written by Nick Endress

Nick Endress

Nick the Quick Endress is an avid fan of basketball and hip hop, and a contributing writer with WJS since 2013. Nick has interviewed rappers, ballers, rapper ballers, and baller rappers on the site and continues to preach that the NBA should have a team in Europe. Maybe because Nick currently lives outside London where to them Football is actually played with your feet, can you believe this fatuousness?