Anthony Davis puts NBA on quadruple-double watch

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So the idea Anthony Davis would prove his late success last season was more breakthrough than small-sample fluke?

That didn’t take long.

In the Pelicans’ season opener, Davis posted a jaw-dropping 26 points, 17 rebounds, nine blocks, three steals and two assists. Only Hakeem Olajuwon has hit those marks in a game since at least 1985-86.

I don’t want to overreact to only one game – a 101-84 win over the lowly Magic – but it sure seems Davis is the NBA’s strongest quadruple-double threat in sometime.

Just four players have posted quadruple doubles in NBA history:*

  • David Robinson: 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 blocks in 1994
  • Hakeem Olajuwon: 18 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists and 11 blocks in 1990
  • Alvin Robertson: 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals in 1986
  • Nate Thurmond: 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists and 12 blocks in 1974

*The league didn’t begin tracking individual blocks and steals until 1973-74

Will Davis join them?

Hitting double-figure points and rebounds comes easily to Davis.

As tonight showed, he can get in that range with blocks. This is his second career nine-block game, and he has two others with eight.

Assists (career high: five) or steals (career high: six) will be the biggest impediment. New Orleans’ offense gives Davis a chance to work from the high post, where he has passing lanes. And his long arms and aggressive defense create potential for a big-steal night against a sloppy offense.

But the odds are against Davis, just as they’re against everyone. Four quadruple-doubles is an absurdly low total. Not even great and well-rounded payers like LeBron James and Michael Jordan have ever achieved the feat.

That said, no current player has a better chance than Davis. His fourth-stat skill in shot-blocking puts him ahead of LeBron, who excels in traditional triple-double stats (points, rebounds, assists).

So here’s my recommendation: Watch all of Davis’ games in the hopes he gets a quadruple-double. If he falls short, you’re liable to see something amazing anyway.