Nov. 8 was the night Anthony Davis really arrived as an NBA star. The New Orleans Pelicans were hosting the Los Angeles Lakers, pitting former All-Everything center Pau Gasol against the 2012 No. 1 pick. What happened from the opening tip to the final buzzer sounding was a complete and utter destruction, as Davis finished the night with a career-high 32 points, 12 rebound and six blocks. There was one play in particular that really stood out. Gasol came across the lane for his patented lefty hook, an unblockable shot for mere mortals. Not for Davis, though. He swatted it with his left hand, sprinted up the court and finished an and-one attempt at the rim before anyone could even blink. Gasol could only slink to the free-throw line once the play was dead and throw up his arms in frustration. At just 20 years old, Davis has been everything a franchise dreams about when they land the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. Trying to single out the right guy with the first pick in hand is a gamble, but selecting a 6'10 big man with a 7'4'' wingspan and freakish athleticism is as simple a choice as splitting aces in blackjack. You do it immediately and never think twice. Drafting Davis is already a huge success for a franchise reborn under new ownership and namesake. He's going to be the center of the universe for New Orleans basketball for years and deserves to represent the Western Conference when the All-Star game rolls into the Big Easy this February. He's averaging the mythical 20 points and 10 rebounds per game in his second year in the NBA, joining Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge and fellow Kentucky Wildcat DeMarcus Cousins as the lone four players accomplishing the feat through the first half of the season. He's the only one in that group that's also averaging over two blocks per game, and by a large margin. Did I mention he's just 20 years old and in the second year of his career? As a point of comparison, it took Kevin Garnett — the player often mentioned as Davis' upside — four seasons before he broke into the 20/10 club.
Anthony Davis is the NBA's next transcendent talent
SB Nation | Jan 29