The New Orleans Hornets are in desperate need of the return of No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis and the variables that he brings to the table. Davis has missed 11 games so far thanks to a stress reaction in his ankle. There isn't an exact date on his return, but head coach Monty Williams (via NOLA.com's John Reid) told the media after the team's Dec. 8 loss to Miami that he expects Davis back "sometime next week".
Davis has played in just six of the Hornets' 18 games this season. Earlier in the year, he was forced to sit out two games after being on the receiving end of an accidental Austin Rivers elbow to the head that left the big man with a concussion.
When he's been on the court, however, Davis has proven to be the goods. He's averaging 16 points a game and leads the team in rebounds (8.3 a night) and blocked shots (2.2 per game). He's scored at least 20 points in three of his six starts, including a 22-point performance in his NBA debut against San Antonio.
Without Davis and franchise guard Eric Gordon, the Hornets have struggled mightily on both ends of the court. They are 5-13 on the season (as of Dec. 9) and have lost their last three games. Their next game comes on Dec. 11 against the equally inept Washington Wizards (2-15 this season).
Whether he comes back against Washington or later on in the week, Davis' return will give the team a boost in several areas.
Here's a look at the several aspects of Davis' game that the Hornets desperately need the most.