Breaking Down the Pros and Cons of Anthony Davis' Game
Anthony Davis has been presumed to be the top pick in the 2012 NBA Draft since he announced that he'd enter the draft. His game wowed many fans during his year at Kentucky, and on Thursday evening, it's expected that David Stern will announce that he will join the New Orleans Hornets.
However, simply because he's thought to be the one to go No. 1 doesn't mean that he'll be an astoundingly great NBA player. Davis has flaws in his game, like any other player. To be sure, his flaws are almost as significant as the marks that made him a highly regarded prospect.
The following is a breakdown of the high points and the rough spots in Davis' game.
Pro: Shot Blocking
Perhaps the most eye-popping aspect of Davis' game is his shot-blocking ability. Davis has incredibly long arms, good jumping ability and a good drive to attack shooters to block shots.
He blocked a Division I-leading 4.7 shots per game and 5.8 per 40 minutes last season.
Watching him defend NBA players on the ball will be fun. When opposing ball-handlers go up for shots with Davis in front of them, they'll have to watch out.
Con: Lack of Strength
One aspect that certainly isn't a strength for Davis is his strength. Davis weighs only 222 pounds, which isn't that much for his 6'10.5" body and his 7'5" wingspan.
He could stand to pack much more muscle on his frame, especially because he has such an expansive wingspan.
Indeed, he grew eight inches in just the past couple years. Putting on muscles takes time, and it's difficult for a player to fill out his frame right after he sprouted up.
The 19-year-old power forward will need to become stronger sooner or later. Without a solid build, Davis will have trouble standing his ground in the post on either end of the floor. His strong rebounding ability might not translate if he doesn't build muscle. Also, he'll struggle to score if he doesn't bulk up.
He has time to develop since he's such a young player. If he does what he needs to do in the weight room, he'll be physically equipped to battle in the post.
Davis is a remarkable rebounder. He uses his unbelievable length, serious explosiveness and excellent athleticism to go up strong for rebounds.
Further, his technique and timing on the boards—both offensive and defensive—are unquestionable. Battling Davis for a rebound is difficult just because of his 7'5" wingspan.
He averaged a nice three offensive rebounds per game to go with 7.4 per game on the defensive end.
As mentioned in the previous slide, his rebounding figures may take a knock in the pros if he doesn't build muscle. As long as he does, he'll be phenomenal on the glass.
Con: Not Much of a Post Player
Anthony Davis may be spectacular doing some things on the inside, like dunking and swiping offensive boards, but his overall post game isn't something to get excited about. He never developed an ability to gain leverage on interior defenders or position himself in the post. He doesn't have a back-to-the-basket game.
Mostly, Davis' inside game revolves around catching the ball and dropping it in or dunking. Blake Griffin has made it with that sort of style, but not many other power forwards manage to do that, especially those with Davis' size.
No one can underestimate how powerful Davis is throwing down a dunk. Davis catches the ball well, moves to the basket fluidly, bounds to the hoop with great explosiveness and throws it down with authority.
It's not just that he's exciting to watch as he dunks. He does it so often that opponents have to game-plan closely around it.
Not Much of a Jump Shooter
Davis might be an impressive dunker and capable shooter at the rim, but outside that, he doesn't do very well.
Davis doesn't have much of a jump shot. He hit only 27 percent of his jump shots in his year at Kentucky. As his DraftExpress.com profile notes, he isn't reliable taking shots outside of five feet.
That's something that the team that picks him will have to address. He'll need a broader game in order to succeed in the NBA. His team wouldn't want to see opponents taking him out by just forcing him outside of his zone.