Only two rookies have played in the NBA All-Star Game since the turn of the century, and Anthony Davis, the Hornets forward who was the first selection in the NBA draft, isn't likely to be the third when the game comes to Toyota Center next month. Davis, the 19-year-old, 6-10 wunderkind who last year helped Kentucky to the NCAA Tournament championship and was a member of the 2012 Olympic gold-medal-winning USA Basketball team, remains, in the words of Hornets coach Monty Williams, "a work in progress" in his rookie season. Davis is averaging 14.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and two blocked shots in 19 games but missed 11 games in November and December with what trainers described as a stress reaction in his left ankle. The condition, they said, could have led to a fracture if untreated. 'Part of the process' He was not a significant factor in the Hornets' 104-92 loss to the Rockets on Wednesday night at Toyota Center. He had eight points and seven rebounds in just over 27 minutes for his third consecutive game of scoring in single digits. "He has games where he looks like — and more games than not — he will be a perpetual All-Star and games where he's finding his way and still learning on the fly," Williams said. "That's part of the process. "He's a hard worker. He picks up stuff really quickly, and as he gets stronger, his jump shot is going to be a lot better. He'll be able to attack the basket." Davis, who is on the All-Star ballot in his role as the first player selected in the draft, got off to a quick start, with two double-doubles and three outings with 20 or more points in his first six games. The leg injury, however, put him in full-time learning/observing mode. "Just watching the games, looking at guys I'll be facing in the future, seeing what they do and looking at tendencies," he said. "I'm like a little coach trying to learning the game." His most productive games since his return were 15 points and 16 rebounds Dec. 18 against the Warriors and 25 points with nine rebounds Dec. 28 vs. Toronto. He remains in the running for Rookie of the Year honors with Damian Lillard of the Trail Blazers, among others, and almost certainly will be in Houston for the Rising Stars Challenge game during All-Star Weekend.
NBA learning curve part of process for Davis, fellow rookies
Houston Chronicle | Jan 4