New Orleans Hornets: 7 Predictions for Anthony Davis' Rookie Season
The 2012 NBA Draft has come and gone.
No surprise there.
Now begins the period of time where critics speculate and debate over his future in the NBA.
Will he be the next Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan or Marcus Camby?
Will he be a first-pick bust like Kwame Brown, or a first-pick boom like Dwight Howard?
For those of you who have begun to ponder over what we can expect from Davis this season, take a deep breath.
He'll have plenty of time to show the world what he's made of at a professional level, considering he's only 19.
But since you've already started to wonder, here are some predictions for what we'll see from Anthony Davis as he enters his rookie year.
200 Blocked Shots
The big man led the nation in swats last year, averaging 4.7 blocks per game.
His average is sure to drop as he makes the jump to the NBA, but I wouldn't expect it to drop drastically.
Over the course of a full 82-game season, expect him to average somewhere around 2.5 blocks per game.
That'll put him right on pace for just over 200 rejections as a rookie.
Anthony Davis led all college basketball players with 90 dunks last season in less than 40 games.
Double the length of the season and suddenly he's slamming it home over 150 times a year.
Sure he'll face tougher competition at the next level, but he'll also be seeing the ball a lot more often in the paint.
Blake Griffin led the NBA with 192 dunks last season while Dwight Howard led the league with 227 the year before.
Davis will join the likes of these perennial jammers and could very possibly lead the league himself one day soon.
Davis averaged 14.2 PPG on a Kentucky team where he didn't need to be the focal point of the offense.
Put on some muscle in the offseason, increase his offensive role and suddenly, Anthony Davis is an instant 1,000-point scorer in the NBA.
This is the first prediction that could actually be a serious low-ball.
As a freshman last year, Anthony Davis averaged 10.4 rebounds per game for Kentucky's National Championship squad.
The Hornets shipped Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza to Washington, while Chris Kaman and Carl Landry both enter the free-agent market this summer.
They'll likely try to re-sign either Kaman or Landry, but with three of their top four rebounders from last year gone, it's all Davis on the block.
He anticipates well and does a great job at finding position under the basket, which will translate to quite a lot of rebounds for the rookie.
Kentucky's star averaged 1.4 steals per game last season to go along with all of his other impressive numbers.
For a 6'11" power forward who loves to dominate under the hoop, he has some pretty nice hands while playing the ball as well.
If he keeps his average close to what it was last year with Kentucky, then just do the math.
He'll be above and beyond the 100 steal mark by season's end.
Rookie of the Year
As a freshman, Anthony Davis was named the 2012 Naismith College Player of the Year.
All signs indicate that he is ready to take his talent to the next level and run away with the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2013.
If all of the previous predictions come true, he'll be averaging over 10 points, 10 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.
These numbers should be more than enough to trump the rest of the field and bring home the first of many honors that he'll receive during his long NBA career.
This might be a bit of a stretch, but I have the utmost confidence in Anthony Davis' ability to make an instant impact in the NBA.
Blake Griffin was the most recent rookie to play in the NBA All-Star Game in 2011, averaging 22.5 PPG and 12.1 RPG in his first professional season.
Anthony Davis is the focal point of the New Orleans Hornets' rebuilding process, so expect him to come out next season with something to prove.
You may laugh now, but when he suits up for the West in Houston next February, we'll see who has the final laugh.