Anthony Davis’ bulk-up diet: Pizza. A lot of pizza.

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Anthony Davis is on every man’s dream diet.

The Hornets rookie has improved and been impressive as the season has worn on — 15.5 points a game on 52.8 percent shooting with 9.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks a game in his last 15 contests — but there are things he needs to work on.

One of them is getting physically bigger and stronger — he’s got to put on weight. Which means he needs to eat a lot. And you have to eat a lot there is no better city in America to be in than New Orleans. So what Cajun cooking specialty is he chowing down on?

Pizza. I know. But Marc Spears has the story at Yahoo Sports.

Specifically from the city’s Reginelli’s Pizzeria chain restaurant, where his pie of choice is a large with double pepperoni and double sausage.

“He eats pizza, man. It’s like if anyone says, ‘P … I’ and then, ‘Pizza,’ he perks up,” Hornets coach Monty Williams said. “This dude has this fascination with pizza. It’s unreal.”

I love pizza, too, but man you are in New Orleans. Great gumbo is around every corner. Amazing fish dishes. Beignets. You got to do more than just pizza.

But the bottom line is he needs to get stronger.

“(Carlos) Boozer made a point of trying to hurt him, basically,” Williams said. “He just tried to smash him every play. I thought, ‘This could be ugly for him if he doesn’t get stronger.’ I started talking to him about, ‘Right now you have to use your quickness because you can’t out-strength these guys.’

“That has been a turning point for him because he is starting to use his speed more, running more. Just doing all the things most guys can’t do at his position. He’s still a way off. If you look at his numbers and the way he’s played and you have to give him a grade, one through 12th grade, he’s like seventh or eighth grader because of the strength and know-how.”

But if you watch how smart a game he plays, the versatility, the defense, and you see why he was the No. 1 pick. Damian Lillard is rightfully going to be the Rookie of the Year, but in three years you’ll want Davis on your team more. Guys such as Kevin Garnett have said he is going to be special. The guys on Team USA last summer — LeBron James, Kobe Bryant — took AD under their wing. Everyone sees it.

He’s just got to get stronger. And eat a lot more pizza.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?