Anthony Davis: Hornets Rookie Makes Early ROY Statement with Strong Debut

Mike HoagCorrespondent IIOctober 31, 2012

Anthony Davis shined in his rookie debut against the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night. The No. 1-overall selection recorded 21 points, 7 rebounds and 1 block to give the New Orleans Hornets a good shot at beating the San Antonio Spurs.

Davis was perfect from the charity stripe, hitting all nine of his attempts. He also played just 29 minutes thanks to a solid performance by the Hornets bench.

Ultimately, the young Hornets didn’t have enough for seasoned veterans Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. The seasoned veterans took over the game in crunch time to fend off the tenacious Hornets by a 99-95 margin.

His first test couldn’t have been more challenging, though, matched up against one of the fixtures in the paint over the last decade-plus, Tim Duncan.

Duncan is a two-time league MVP, 13-time All-Star and four-time NBA champion, all while playing with the same San Antonio Spurs team. Sure, the faces have changed, but “The Big Fundamental” remains the same.

New Orleans has gone through a total transformation since last season. They’ve gotten much younger and have added eight new players, unlike the Spurs who returned 13 players from last year’s team.

For the Hornets to play as well as they did in this one, it took a good team effort and a solid performance by the Rookie of the Year favorite, Anthony Davis.

Davis hit all six of his free throws—two in the final 90 seconds—pulled in two boards and played solid defense down the stretch in the fourth quarter. He wasn’t perfect, but played his role very well and didn’t make the rookie mistakes you’d expect from a first-year player.

At halftime, Davis had already posted 13 points, four rebounds and one block, but took a seat throughout much of the third quarter. He returned with about seven minutes to play in the final period, but couldn’t do enough to hold off the Spurs.

His first block came in a memorable fashion. While trailing Kawhi Leonard from behind, Davis swatted the unsuspecting Leonard to an emphatic reaction from the crowd.

Davis definitely didn’t disappoint in his first game. One thing is certain, there are brighter days ahead for the New Orleans Hornets thanks to the addition of Davis.