Anthony Davis is absolutely blowing up right now as the New Orleans Pelicans make their way up the Western Conference standings. Davis has been so good, he’s in the process of reeling in James Harden at the top of the NBA MVP race. At this rate, he may just pass him.
The Brow did it again Tuesday night, dropping 41 points, while grabbing 13 rebounds, with three steals and three blocks. He went 17-of-31 from the field and 4-of-7 from 3-point range. He did it all in New Orleans’ 121-116 win, as his team won its ninth game in a row.
Then on Wednesday he had 17 points, five rebounds, five blocks and two steals in just 23 minutes. He had to leave the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. The Pelicans won their 10th straight game, topping the Sacramento Kings 114-101.
Here’s hoping he isn’t out long, because what Davis has done this season has been remarkable. He’s second in the NBA in scoring (28.3 points per game), ninth in rebounds (11.2), second in blocks (2.2) and 25th in steals (1.45). He’s also second in PER (28.72), behind only Harden (30.49).
A deeper look into the advanced stats makes Davis’ case for the MVP even stronger.
Davis is third in the NBA in win shares (10.5) but is getting it done on both ends. He’s fifth in offensive win shares (7.1) and fourth in defensive win shares (3.3). While Harden leads the NBA in win shares (12.4), he’s not in the top 20 on the defensive end.
The other factor that must be considered is the team surrounding Davis. With DeMarcus Cousins out for the season, he’s become a do-everything force for the Pelicans. Jrue Holiday is the only guy on the roster capable of being a difference-maker, and even that is being a bit too kind. Holiday is having a career year (19.4 ppg, 17.6 PER), but he benefits tremendously from the attention The Brow draws.
Without Davis, the Pelicans wouldn’t sniff the playoffs. As it is, they are currently the four-seed in the Western Conference and only a game behind the Portland Trail Blazers for third.
If the goal is to pick the guy having the best season, I think it’s a dead heat between Harden and Davis. If we are actually trying to find the most “valuable” player in the NBA, there is no question it’s Davis. And, frankly, I don’t believe it’s particularly close. LeBron James would probably be second, while I’d put Harden third.