Breaking Down Which NBA Big Men Anthony Davis Should Model His Game After
Here's what Anthony Davis can do that your favorite big man cannot:
This is partially why it's hard to find a comparison for Davis; few big men possess his guard's handle. Anthony Randolph had this skill, but he never wrapped it into a workable game.
The best offensive model I can make for Anthony Davis would be Chris Bosh. The skinny Miami big man employs a deceptive shot fake and superior handle to beat opponents. When Oklahoma City matched the bigger Kendrick Perkins on Bosh, it got ugly.
Of course, Anthony Davis needs a shot before a shot fake. His in game-shooting has been iffy, but a college free throw mark of over 70 percent inspires optimism.
It's incumbent on Davis to develop a mid-range jumper because he'll never be a low-post dominator. A better long-distance shot will also allow him to help his team's spacing in the pick-and-roll. The Hornets need all the help they can get, seeing as they're low on ball-handlers.
Speaking of pick-and-roll, AD already displays some Tyson Chandler offensive qualities. Chandler is limited on that side of the ball, but he excels at converting alley oops, put-backs and passes near the rim. Anthony Davis has this skill, but he must look to Bosh to build beyond it.
On defense, Anthony Davis should look to Kevin Garnett. KG doesn't have elite strength, but his range and wisdom make Boston's big man a top-three defensive player. He also has the pick-and-roll figured out perfectly, and Davis should work on doing the same. With a 7'5" wingspan, the Brow can easily dominate the "show and recover" game.
Here's how Anthony Davis could be an even better defender than Kevin Garnett—high as that bar is. He's a shot blocker. Davis rejected an absurd 4.7 shots per game at Kentucky, all the while fouling only two times per contest.
There hasn't been a more effective shot-blocker in the college game since Hakeem Olajuwon. Unlike the Dream, Davis will be expected to cover vast swaths of range in zone defense and strong-side defense schemes (Illegal defense rules prevented Hakeem from venturing too far from his man). You could make the argument that the Brow will be the most important defensive player in decades, partially because the rules allow for more defensive freedom.
This is quite the exciting future, regardless of which guy Davis chooses to pattern his game after. Anthony Davis could evoke different aspects of Chris Bosh, Kevin Garnett and Hakeem Olajuwon. If that doesn't excite you this season, then you, sir, are not a basketball fan.
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