Davis played just 61 games this season – 75.3% of New Orleans’ 82. Here’s how that compares historically with other All-NBA players:
Nearly 30% of All-NBA players have played all their teams games. More than two-thirds played at least 95% of their teams games.
But an All-NBA season with Davis’ workload is not unprecedented. In fact, a player has played a smaller share of his team’s games 26 times and made an All-NBA team:
|Player||Year||Team||G||Team G||% of Team G|
Of course, Davis isn’t competing against Scottie Pippen in 1998 or DeMarcus Cousins last year. He’s competing against forwards and centers in 2015-16.
Though Davis typically started at power forward, he played 54% of his minutes at center. Voters should feel comfortable picking him at either position.
Here are games played for Davis’ key All-NBA competitors – forwards in blue, centers in gold (sorted by win shares):
For what it’s worth, Davis has the same win-share total as Hayward.
Voters should weigh whether Davis contributed more in his 61 games (with perhaps a replacement-level boost for the minutes Davis was out) than other players did in however many games they played.
It will be hard for Davis to top Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James or Draymond Green at forward. If Davis still ranks ahead of Paul Millsap and LaMarcus Aldridge now, they have time to overtake what would be a slim margin. And that’s all six All-NBA forward slots taken without even getting into Paul George, Gordon Hayward and other dark-horse picks.
Center is more wide open, but Davis’ absence will hurt his case against DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan, Al Horford, Hassan Whiteside and Andre Drummond. In any race, 21 missed games should matter. In one this close, they could be the difference.
Simply, it will be close.
Unfortunately for Davis, there’s nothing more he can do on the court to help himself. He just must hope voters still consider his work in 61 games and realize rewarding him with an All-NBA season has plenty of precedent.