Anthony Davis: Analyzing What Kentucky Star Brings to Hornets

Ben ShapiroAnalyst IIIJune 28, 2012

It feels good to be number one, Anthony Davis and David Stern on stage, after his selection at number one.
It feels good to be number one, Anthony Davis and David Stern on stage, after his selection at number one.Elsa/Getty Images

The least suspenseful part of the 2012 NBA draft is over. 

The New Orleans Hornets selected Anthony Davis with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. 

So what exactly did the New Orleans Hornets just get? 

A lot. 

Anthony Davis isn't an elite scorer yet. He isn't an elite rebounder yet, but he is an elite defensive player, and the rest of his game is rapidly improving to the point where it won't be long until Davis is one of the best players in the NBA. 

First off, the shot blocking. From the moment Anthony Davis steps onto the court next season, he will be among the best shot blockers in the NBA. 

He's that good. A lightning quick leaper, Davis possesses the ability to stay on the floor until after his opponent leaves his feet, and then he quickly leaps and utilizes his long reach and outstanding hand-eye coordination to block shots cleanly and maintain possession of the ball as well. 

There aren't many guys in the NBA that can do that. 

The knock on Davis is that he's rail thin, and that his low-post offensive game is unpolished.

Those are both legitimate concerns, but consider that Tim Duncan had similar critiques when he entered the NBA draft in 1997. The difference is that Duncan was a 21-year-old who had just finished a four-year college career at Wake Forest.

Anthony Davis has played one year of college basketball, and he's only been a big man for about two years. Davis started his junior year of high school standing 6'3", but by the time he was a freshman at Kentucky, he stood 6'10".

When one considers that Davis has only been playing at his size for a few years, and has only played one year of college ball, his accomplishments and his skills are fairly jaw dropping.

Davis has proven himself to be a quick learner. He may look awkward at times in his rookie season, but by the time it concludes, Hornets fans can expect to see a very impressive all-around basketball player whose best quality is his defense. However, he can be counted on to take smart shots and make a fair percentage of them.

Davis should also prove to be quite adept at running the floor, having played on a Kentucky team that went up and down the court with lethal efficiency.

His physical size (specifically his weight) will be his greatest obstacle. Davis will find that in spite of his reach and length, it will be tough to grab rebounds battling players who are both taller and stronger than him.

He'll learn to grab those boards though. He can use his speed, quickness and leaping ability to grab rebounds from mid-air, and he can get around players trying to box him out with his footwork.

There was only one potential future NBA superstar in this draft. The New Orleans Hornets got him, and his name is Anthony Davis.