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Anthony Davis’ 40-20 game by the numbers

Mar 17, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

Celtics Pelicans Basketball

The 2012 draft already looks like it will go down as one of the NBA’s stronger ones ever. Andre Drummond is incredibly promising. Damian Lillard won Rookie of the Year and is even better this season.

But there’s no doubt, if the draft were re-done, Anthony Davis would remain the No. 1 pick.

Days like Sunday just serve as a reminder why. Here’s a look inside Davis’ historic game:

  • 40 – Points Davis scored in the New Orleans Pelicans’ 121-120 overtime win over the Boston Celtics
  • 21 – Rebounds Davis grabbed in the game
  • 1 – 40-20 games in Pelicans’ franchise history, dating backing to Charlotte
  • 2 – 40-20 games NBA-wide in the last 10 years. Dwight Howard had one in 2012.
  • 21 – Davis’ age, making him the youngest player with a 40-20 game since Shaquille O’Neal did it at 20 in 1993
  1. notinmyhouse56 - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    This guy is already the best PF in the league

    • asimonetti88 - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      Not yet but man he is good.

    • cruzan80 - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      Kevin Love
      LeMarcus Aldridge
      Blake Griffin
      Dirk Nowitzki
      Zach Randolph

      The kid is crazy good……but lets take it easy on the kool-aid just a tad.

      • pbtunpaidwriter - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        Duncan is better than and Pau is better than Randolph right now.

        Did you randomly happen to forget these beasts in your list?

      • notinmyhouse56 - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        Love plays no D
        Aldridge is a nice scorer, but he’s D isn’t on Davis level
        Blake – take that one, Griffin is slightly better
        Nowitzki – amazing scorer, but again no D
        Randolph – great player, but c’mon

      • sportsfan18 - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:49 PM


        Davis is better than all except for Love and Davis is the guy ALL teams would choose over any of them going forward.

        I know, dummies in America CAN’T do math and therefore many poo poo PER.

        Well, how about we jump to something darn near everyone may agree on? MJ has the #1 all time high career PER. LBJ has the 2nd highest all time career PER.

        And those two players are/were pretty good no?

        Here are the PER’s in these players 1st season and 2nd season

        First Season PER

        MJ 25.8 (after playing in college at N. Carolina for Dean Smith)
        LBJ 18.3 (straight from high school we all know)
        Smith 21.7 (after 1 season at Kentucky)

        Second Season PER

        MJ 27.5
        LBJ 25.7
        Smith 27.1 (so far this season)

        LeBron is the best player in the NBA, but he will turn 30 at the beginning of next season.

        This is the guy I would take to begin a team with right now. He’ll turn 22 at the beginning of next season.

        The kid is already special. The beginning of his career ranks up there with the all time greats.

        Tim Duncan, The Big Fundamental, 4 yrs of college at Wake Forest began the NBA with PER’S of 22.6 & 23.2 (again, after 4 yrs of college to only one for Smith).

        I’m a HUGE Duncan fan…

        I very much DISLIKE Kentucky as I was born and raised in Indiana and went to college at IU.

        But this kid is special.

        One last one. A HUGE Indiana Legend… LARRY FREAKING Bird began the NBA with PER’S of 20.5 and 19.9 after 4 yrs of college.

        Go ahead, look up other stars… this kid has had an amazing beginning to his career. It’s just that he’s toiling away in obscurity on the Hornets…

      • notinmyhouse56 - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        sportsfan you meant Davis right?

      • sportsfan18 - Mar 18, 2014 at 1:10 PM

        Yes, I was talking about Davis in all I wrote about above.

        There is no guarantee of the future as we all know, but this kid’s first two seasons (now basically DONE) stand among the greatest first two seasons in history. I mean compare him to LBJ, MJ, Bird, Duncan and others…

        We all know teams draft for potential. Well, EVERYONE has now seen this kid for two years…

        I’d certainly gamble on his future after having seen how he came out of the gates his first two seasons…

        Like most young players, he should continue improving too… KD, LBJ were all much better in yrs 4, 5 & 6.

        Davis does NOT need to improve leaps and bounds to be in rare air as a 27 PER is rare air.

        How rare? Well MJ has the all time highest career PER and his career PER is 27.91.

        Davis, not for his career, but for this season has a PER of over 27 at 27.1 right now.

        So just a bit of improvement over the next few seasons (nothing unrealistic I mean) will vault him into MVP contention (3 to 4 yrs from now I mean).

      • cruzan80 - Mar 19, 2014 at 5:13 PM


        The only reason why I listed Love is because he has at least done what Davis is doing for a longer time now….longevity does count for something.

        Love would be the 1st PF I have Davis passing on that list though. Love plays no defense, is injury prone & hasn’t been able to take the wolves anywhere. Also, they wolves are not as bad as your trying to make them out to be. Kevin Martin, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekoivc & Cory Brewer is enough talent to at least fight for 8th…..they’re not even close.

        I agree with what you’re saying as far as your MJ & Larry Bird examples go….I’ve made the very same argument about Carmelo Anthony to you but conveniently you seem to miss the point then….odd huh?

        My point is simply is the kid has a way to go before being crowned best PF in the league. He’s in his 2nd season…it’s just a flat out rude comment to make considering the likes of Griffin, Love, Aldridge ect who have been this good for YEARS now.

    • cruzan80 - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      Having a better season & being called “already the best PF in the league” is two completely different things.

      He’s still hasn’t:

      Proved he can lead a team to a winning record.
      Take a team to the playoffs.
      Win a playoff game.
      Win a playoff series.

      At some point he has to prove that he is THE reason for his team’s success. As for now, he’s just putting huge #’s on a very bad team (the looter in the riot effect).

      Again. I think the kid is crazy good & can absolutely be the best PF in the game….eventually.

      • sportsfan18 - Mar 18, 2014 at 1:19 PM


        But YOU listed Love as being better than this kid. How many playoff games has Love lead the Wolves to?

        Uh, that would be zero. 6 yrs in the league and zero playoff appearances.

        Production is production. Neither Davis nor Love could lift the Wolves. Love, Aldridge or others could lift the Hornets…

        MJ won when he got players like Pippen, Rodman and others, same with other great players.

        It’s ALL a game of hypothetical’s. We’d ONLY know if we traded out say Aldridge and Davis or Aldridge and Love out for each other and then see what they’d do with each other’s squads…

        Anything short is all BS. Just talk.

        MJ was fantastic out of the gate in his NBA career, just go look up his stats. Now the Bulls didn’t win.

        Larry Bird and Magic Johnson both began their NBA careers very well too but statistically they didn’t do as well as MJ in their first seasons.

        YET, BOTH the Lakers and the Celtics did much better in the post season right away than MJ’s Bulls.

        Was that MJ’s fault? According to your logic it is?

  2. knicksmets - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    What a beast, will be good for a long time.

  3. mrlaloosh - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Tom Benson better find a way to keep him from running to a “big” market. Like Chris Paul did.
    Just think if the Pelicans still had Chris Paul and David West to go with Davis. Ouch!

    • asimonetti88 - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      They probably wouldn’t have been in position to draft him if they still had Chris Paul though.

  4. plum13sec - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    Well on his way to super-stardom and domination

  5. capspats - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Dudes way better than Randolph

  6. csbanter - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Had he stayed in school ala Tim Duncan, he would be the next Tim Duncan. His greatness will depend on the talent around him.

    • savvybynature - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      Duncan is also one of the hardest working and most competitive players in the league, even now at age 37.
      Davis’ greatness will depend on lots of things, including health, how hard he works in the offseason, and how bad he wants it.

      • sfs1 - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:05 PM

        By all accounts Davis is extremely passionate about getting better and working hard during the offseason to better himself, and his competitive spirit looks pretty strong to me. He already has those things Duncan has, and you’re right, if he can keep those mentalities as strong or stronger over time he’ll go down as a great.

  7. antistratfordian - Mar 18, 2014 at 5:24 AM

    Lillard needs to send Davis his ROY award, asap. The rightful owner.

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