Hornets Beat: All Anthony Davis

Published: June 4, 2012

We go 5-on-5 with our writers to tackle the big questions about future Hornet Anthony Davis. 

1. Anthony Davis’s ceiling is…….

Michael McNamara: Kevin Garnett on offense, Hakeem Olaquwon on defense. I don’t ever see him as a guy who just lives on the low block that an old school big man does, but I do think that by year three, he will be a guy who is more than capable of scoring down there with regularity. But this new NBA is built around ball movement and versatility, which I think Davis has. If he is covered by a bigger guy, like Kendrick Perkins, he will step out and drain a jumper or take him off the dribble. He will post up smaller guys. On defense, he could end up joining Hakeem and Russell as one of the three best defensive big men of all time. Seriously.

James Grayson: Michael is right about his ceiling. What makes the Kevin Garnett comparisons even more true is the way Davis says he wants to play his game. Saying things like, “I can beat bigs with my dribbling ability,” screams Garnett like comparisons, though they could be slightly more different. Defensively he could be his own category of greatness, things we never could’ve imagined.

Jake Madison: If Davis develops a post game then it is just frightening how good he will become. But, on offense, Garnett is a perfect comparison. Defensively, we’re looking at a potential Hakeem-like player who will anchor the Hornets for years.

Mason Ginsberg: The Kevin Garnett comparison is spot on. From his body type to his skill set, AD and KG appear to have a good bit in common. He could potentially be even better on defense, too.

Joe: If he can get players to push and challenge him in practice every day at both ends of the floor, like MJ had with Pippen, then I think we could be looking at a once in a generation player. There’s a chance that when he hangs up his sneakers we’ll be arguing that he was better than MJ.

2. Anthony Davis’s floor is……..

MM: Blake Griffin on offense, Joakim Noah on defense. I guess there is a chance he never develops a post game, but I would bet against it. Remember, he is 19! At 19, Ewing, Hakeem, Duncan- none of them had a post game. They all had the work ethic to develop one though, but maybe Davis falls in love with playing on the perimeter. I doubt it, but its possible. Still, that floor ain’t bad.

JG: I don’t like throwing direct comparisons to players, but you’d have to think that if Davis can’t work it out on offense then he’ll still be a great defensive player. What concerns others is his body mass, whether his leanness might be a big disadvantage. However others have worked it out and put on the weight needed if they set their mind to it.

JM: At the worst, he’s a routine all defensive first team player. Maybe it’s the creole blue tinted glasses I’m wearing, but I don’t see how, other than injury, he doesn’t work out in the NBA.

MG: I’m going to say Marcus Camby. Even if for some really strange reason, he never puts everything together offensively, he still has the length and athleticism to be a Camby-esque defender and shot blocker.

Joe: As soon as I read this question I thought Marcus Camby on defense and one of the best garbage men in the league on offense. He could lead the league in shooting percentage even if he never develops a back to the basket game or a real jump shot. It wouldn’t be ideal, but he’d still be a heck of a player. Then reality hit me– He could get hurt, turn into a headcase, develop a drug or alcohol problem, or any number of equally awful things. Reality sucks, but it’s where we live.

3. True or False: Anthony Davis making the Team USA squad would be a good thing.

MM: True, but I won’t be mad if he is with Vasquez, Henry, Aminu, and the 10th pick playing summer league ball instead. If he makes Team USA, however, he gets to be around the greatest players in the world and gets to pick the brain of Coach K. How can that not benefit him, and in turn, the Hornets?

JG: True. The experience one can gain from being part of an olympic squad would be fantastic. Davis would get to mingle with a lot of his idols growing up and get a feel for the lifestyle of the NBA. It has it’s negatives though, more superlative than anything. I don’t want Davis to take after Lebron and join, “that group,” that Chris Paul joined. Aside from that I do think it would be nice for him to meet his Hornet teammates, but there’s plenty of time for that.

JM: The experience he would gain will put him far ahead of other rookies at the start of next season. Even more importantly, he would get to see the work ethic of the top players in the league. However, the thought of some freak injury occurring scares me, but that could happen in summer league, too.

MG: I’ll be in Vegas for the second weekend of summer league, so while it would be a pleasure to be able to watch him there, it would definitely be better for him to play on the Olympic team. He’ll gain experience and knowledge about the NBA game even earlier than expected, and should give him a big leg up going into his rookie season.

Joe: True. Being with the best players in the world as they practice, prepare, travel, and play in win-or-go-home games would be huge for his development. Summer league is fun… There’s no but. That really seems like the point of it.

4. True or False: Anthony Davis will win Rookie of the Year

MM: This might come as a shock, but I will say false. Look, it is Anthony Davis or the field with the way this question is framed and I can see a guy from this class putting up a Tyreke Evans type season- empty numbers on a bad team. Davis will have the most impact in this rookie class, but voters tend to look at numbers and I could see Beal or Lillard putting up monster numbers on a bad team that gives them 35+ minutes per game.

JG: False. This isn’t to say he can’t though, what with his amazing talent. A lot of the time it’s tougher for big men to make more of an immediate impact to a team. In the past 10 or so years only Emeka Okafor, Blake Griffin and Amare Stoudamire have gone on to win the award as center/big-men.

JM: False. There is going to be some player on a bad team who puts up big numbers, and since none of the voters will watch that bad team, they will simply go by the player’s numbers. It will be a shame.

MG: False. Davis isn’t a stat-sheet filler, and we’ve seen how flawed the awards voting can be at times, so while I expect him to do more to help his team than any other rookie, the actual rookie of the year award could just as easily go to a volume scorer on another bad team (my early money is on Bradley Beal).

Joe: True. Defensive-minded players don’t typically win ROY awards, but Anthony Davis is not your typical defensive-minded player. He’s a number one pick bound to be a regular feature on Sportscenter’s Top 10, and there’s little doubt that he’ll be a double-double machine with stellar offensive efficiency. He’s got to be considered the favorite against the field if he stays healthy.


5. In five years, Anthony Davis will be………

MM: One of the top 3 players in the NBA. Durant should be there, and LeBron might still be, although he will be entering his 14th season. Kevin Love might be putting up better numbers, but won’t have the defensive impact, and Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving, etc. will be All-Stars but not Superstars. Anthony Davis will just be turning 24 and will have just signed a max extension with the Hornets in the summer of 2017, and the Hornets will be the favorite in Vegas to win it all going into the year after having fallen just short the year before.

JG: I like to think positively, but I don’t know where in terms of player rankings he will be. I think he can easily be a top 10 player in the league if he works hard, is focussed and above all else, becomes a leader. I think, moving forward, starting right now, we shouldn’t place too much pressure on the young-kid. There are a lot of times that if the development process isn’t done correctly that any damage done is irreparable. I trust that Monty and Dell will let Anthony enjoy the process and make sure that he decides how good he wants to be.

JM: I say he’ll be a multiple All-Star and perennial Defensive Player of the Year. It would be nice if we can add NBA champion to that as well.

MG: A top-10 NBA player for sure, and assuming Eric Gordon sticks around and can stay healthy, a member of the best one-two punch in the NBA.

Joe: The main reason that so many die-hard Saints fans became die-hard Hornets fans as well. He’ll also have a major impact in regard to local charities (I hope).


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