The NBA is full of talent, personality and suspense. During the offseason, It’s easy to forget how wonderful the league can be. So, I’ve assembled 67 Reasons I’m Excited For Next Season (67RIEFNS). They’ll be presented in no particular order.
Anthony Davis played at Kentucky. He was the No. 1 pick in the draft. He made the All-Star game last season.
But, somehow, I’m still not convinced people understand just how good he can become. I’m not sure they get how good he already is, either.
He’s probably flown under the radar for two reasons – injuries and the Pelicans’ lack of success. And that’s a shame.
In a 10-game stretch last March, after New Orleans had faded from the playoff picture, Davis averaged 29.8 points on 54.5 percent shooting, 13.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.8 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. That’s insane! But Davis got hurt again, and his season ended quietly.
I don’t expect Davis to maintain that type of production this season, but I believe it was indicative of a breakthrough. Lest you think I’m cherry-picking too small of a sample, Davis posted the highest PER of anyone 20 and under – higher than even LeBron James.
All season, Davis was excellent. By the final stages, he crossed into unreal.
Anything close to that that – whether or not the Pelicans make the playoffs in the loaded West – and people will have to acknowledge his greatness.
Eight former MVPs are still in the league. Six – LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan – will be on the wrong side of 30 by New Year’s if they’re not already. Another, Derrick Rose, has played 10 games the last two years. The eighth and reigning MVP, Kevin Durant, is out for a while.
The NBA is ready for a new superstar. It’s Davis.