BOSTON — On the surface, Anthony Davis seems to have a lot in common with a young Kevin Garnett. The lithe rookie for the New Orleans Hornets is just as freakishly athletic at 6-foot-10 as Garnett was as a 19-year-old for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1995. Just like a young Garnett, Davis’ potential is clear despite a mostly up-and-down rookie campaign.
Playing against Davis on Wednesday, though, Garnett did not feel like he was looking at his mirror image. Well, maybe he was — if it were one of those funky funhouse mirrors that make everyone look tall and skinny.
“That kid is looong,” Garnett said. “He makes me look like a midget with his arms. I was nothing like him. He’s a freak of nature. That kid’s going to be really good.”
Based on the box score, Davis had a strong, though just short of spectacular, debut at the TD Garden. He had 10 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots in 26 minutes as the Hornets halted the Celtics’ six-game win streak. Garnett saw each one of those baskets, boards and blocks, but the veteran big man seldom judges his performances or his opponents on the statistics.
In his first matchup with a player who might one day succeed him as arguably the top defensive pivot in the game, Garnett came away impressed — and also a little humbled.