Anthony Davis Starting to Realize His Massive Potential

Christopher WalderContributor IINovember 9, 2013

Someone needs to put the rest of the NBA on high alert, because 20-year-old Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans is ready to take over and dominate the league. 

In the Pelicans' recent 96-85 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, Davis scored a career-high 32 points, grabbed 12 rebounds (his fourth double-double of the season), dished out three assists, got to the charity stripe 11 times and blocked six shots. 

I've seen Swiss Army Knives do less than that. 

Pau Gasol, a four-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA champion, was dominated on both ends of the floor by the young Davis. It's as if every time Gasol had the ball, Davis was there lurking in the shadows ready to reject any and all shots he put up around the basket.

The 13-year veteran is clearly no slouch, but Davis made him look like one on Friday night.

It was hard to fully grasp or predict what kind of player Davis could turn into after his rookie campaign. A sprained left shoulder and bone bruise in his left knee forced the former Kentucky Wildcat to miss 18 games during the regular season. 

Now, with a clean bill of health and the Pelicans franchise squarely on his shoulders, Davis is looking to not only make a name for himself in his own right, but also to help resurrect the reputation of New Orleans basketball and help make his team a contender once again in the Western Conference.

So far, so good. Through his first six games of 2013-14, Davis is averaging 23.0 points on 47.1 percent from the field, 11.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals and an overwhelming 4.3 blocks. 

According to, during the Pelicans' 105-84 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on November 2, Davis became just the fourth player (David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Andrei Kirilenko) in NBA history to block six shots and steal the ball six times in the same game. 

In fact, his stellar start already has him being compared to some of the best big men to have ever played the game. 

That's not bad company to be in. 

He currently ranks 11th in the NBA in scoring, second in blocks, sixth in rebounds and fifth in offensive rebounds (4.2)

Davis can put up points around the basket, but he's slowly starting to show a more consistent jump shot from 15 feet, which will certainly keep the defense honest and force them to come out and guard him. 

It's not where it needs to be, but it's slowly coming around. It just goes to show how important it is to be a multifaceted player who can make things happen in a variety of ways. 

Head coach Monty Williams is starting to show a lot more faith in his star player, increasing Davis' minutes to 37.7 per game, which is a nice jump from the 28.4 he averaged last season.

His health is always going to be of concern. His slimmer frame is more prone to injury than some, yet with the added muscle Davis put on over the summer, that anxiety should be far, far less.

Anthony Davis is still a work in progress as a basketball player, which is absolutely scary to comprehend. He's leaps and bounds ahead of where he probably should be at this age and at this stage of his career, but through it all, Davis remains humble and driven to continue exceeding expectations.

If he's playing this well at 20 years old, just imagine where he'll be when he hits his absolute prime in another six or so years. 

It's still relatively early in the season, and these numbers will fluctuate, but through his first games, Davis' points are up by 9.5, his rebounds by 3.3 and his blocks by 2.5. That's a phenomenal leap from Year 1 to 2, and we're just getting started. 

His potential is endless. The sky really is the limit for where Anthony Davis could be headed. 

Is anyone cracking jokes about that unibrow now?

I don't think so. 


Follow Christopher Walder on Twitter @WalderSports.

*Unless noted otherwise, all statistics are courtesy of*