Can Anthony Davis Have the 'Blake Griffin Effect' on the New Orleans Hornets?

Ethan Sherwood StraussNBA Lead WriterAugust 1, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31:  Anthony Davis #14 of United States dunks the ball against Tunisia during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

I certainly hope so. For the sake of all that is holy in hoops, I want Anthony Davis to reinvigorate the recently moribund New Orleans Hornets franchise. I believe the Brow can do it, because his game is wholly unique. 

Anthony Davis will not provide Griffin-caliber highlight dunks, but he should deliver a devastating highlight block almost every single night. The blocked shot is just as exciting as the poster dunk.

Davis is blessed with the rare talent that makes it seem more like an art form than a reflex. AD can wait for players to go up with the ball, as a means of tricking them into a vulnerable pose. Then, he springs upwards, raking the rock from the skies.

Davis can also make the spectacular block, the kind you could not see anyone getting to. In an instant, he covers more ground than your eyes would think possible, blocking the shot of a confused, supposedly open player.

John Henson feels this pain.

We have not seen a swatting talent of this caliber since Hakeem Olajuwon entered the league nearly 30 years ago. Anthony Davis averaged 4.7 blocks in his freshman year, more than a block over what Patrick Ewing averaged in any of his Georgetown seasons.

Not only that, Davis possesses the eerie ability to do this without fouling. He posts a guard-like foul rate of 2.1 per game. That's a fantastic 2.2 block-to-foul ratio. 

It's a privilege to watch a defensive genius at work. While he won't stroll into the league fully formed, there will be flashes of that unique talent throughout the season.

Obviously, winning galvanizes a fanbase, and I expect Anthony's game to produce victories. But fans should also be excited by the prospect of going on a journey with a developing player.

The best thing about Davis is that we believe he'll be great, but we don't quite know how great or in what capacity. There is an optimism mixed in with a sense of mystery. It's what Blake Griffin gave Clippers fans, because his game somewhat stagnated in the 2011-2012 season.

Hornets fans will be treated to the most intriguing show on League Pass, night after night.

Lucky for that fanbase, Monty Williams is incredibly well qualified to navigate such a defensive savant, as he managed to cobble together a decent defense from Chris Paul and some assorted dregs.

With Ryan Anderson and the collegiate-branded Austin Rivers in the mix, New Orleans fans have plenty to hope for and plenty to pay attention to.