Anthony Davis Posts Franchise's 1st 40/20 Game as Pelicans Beat Boston in OT

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2014

Getty Images

At 21 years old, New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis is already one of the best players the NBA has to offer. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. 

In a thrilling 121-120 overtime win over the Boston Celtics on Sunday night, Davis scored a career-high 40 points to go with 21 rebounds and three blocks, which prompted Celtics coach Brad Stevens to heap tremendous praise on the second-year stud. 

"I think he's unreal... If there are 10 better players in the league I haven't seen them," Stevens said following the loss, according to the Boston Celtics' Twitter account

In a sign that Davis' development is moving at a breakneck pace, Sunday was the second time in as many games that the former No. 1 overall pick posted a new career high in the scoring column: 

Not only that, but Davis became the first player to record 40 points and 20 rebounds in a single game this season, according to, and joined Dwight Howard as the first player to accomplish the staggering feat since 2012: 

And get this: Davis scored his 40 points on 14-of-22 shooting (63.6 percent) and a perfect 12-of-12 shooting from the free-throw line. With a post game that's looking more polished by the day, a free-throw line jumper that's making opponents squirm and the length to be considered one of the game's most versatile two-way weapons, it's hard not to drool over Davis' future. 

The efficiency shouldn't come as a surprise, though, considering that Davis ranks fourth among all players in player efficiency rating, trailing only Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Kevin Love in the all-important category, according to ESPN.

Davis' shot chart against the Celtics.
Davis' shot chart against the

Perhaps the most eye-popping evidence of Davis' brilliance at such a young age comes in the form of this stat from Basketball-Reference (h/t to The Brooklyn Game's Devin Kharpertian): Among all players in NBA history, Davis is the first during a season that started at age 20 or younger to record a PER of 26 or better while qualifying for the league's minutes-per-game leaderboard. 

So what will Davis look like five years down the line?

While it's impossible to try to project just how dominant The Brow will be when his offensive game is even more complete, there's no denying that the Pelicans have an absolute gem on their hands. 

We've never quite seen a player with the combination of size, speed, athleticism, length, touch and shooting prowess that Davis possesses, and his grasp of the game's minutiae at such a young age is mind-boggling. 

So just keep this in mind as you watch the NCAA tournament over the next few weeks: While kids Davis' age are looking to capture national titles and bust brackets, the game's brightest young talent will be cementing his place among the most established talents in the NBA.