Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra Says Anthony Davis Will Be in MVP Conversation Soon

Jim CavanContributor IMarch 22, 2014

Mar 7, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis (23) against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

Having logged 27.7 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game on 54 percent shooting through 10 games in March, Anthony Davis is doing his best to remind everyone his is a star that’ll only rise higher and hotter.

How high and how hot? Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has an opinion on the matter:

How soon? Judging by his numbers thus far, Davis could be creeping up on the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant as early as next season.

A meteoric rise
*= Stat that takes into account free throws, field goals and three-pointers.

Most everyone was certain Davis had next-level star potential following a tremendous one-and-done year at the University of Kentucky culminating in a national championship and consensus player of the year honors.

We just didn’t think it would happen this quickly.

Davis, who turned 21 on March 11, possesses an almost impossible five-tool arsenal—flat-out frightening when the ever-strengthening 7-foot frame is taken into account.

Back in January, Bleacher Report’s Jared Dubin parsed out in impressive statistical detail just how big a leap Davis has made. Dubin’s conclusion—particularly with respect to Davis’ defensive presence—should be sending shivers down the spines of everyone in the NBA:

It's the massive wingspan that helps him reach the heights he's at defensively (on an individual level) right now. Once he gets better at learning and recognizing opposing concepts like Tim Duncan, directing his teammates where they're supposed to go a la Kevin Garnett and walling off the paint without always going for the block like Marc Gasol, he's destined to reach another level.

That scenario almost seems like a forgone conclusion at this point.

So what, exactly, is Davis’ ceiling? B/R's Dan Favale tackled precisely this question a few weeks back:

That's his ceiling. It's an amalgamation of other ceilings. He could win championships like [David] Robinson, score like [Hakeem] Olajuwon, elude Father Time like [Tim] Duncan and defend everyone like [LeBron] James. That could happen.

OK then!

Luckily for the New Orleans Pelicans, barring any unforeseen demands or disputes, they’ll bear the bounty of Davis’ services at least through the 2017 season.

At which point Davis will be—wait for it—23 years old, i.e. a full two years younger than Kevin Durant is right now.

Did you just look in the mirror to see yourself turning a shade of white you’ve never seen before? Me too.


All Stats courtesy of NBA.com and current as of March 22, unless otherwise noted. (NBA.com media stats subscription only.)