Sometimes, it’s simply unfair playing against Anthony Davis.
The New Orleans Pelicans star stands at 6-foot-10 with a monstrous wingspan yet can distribute the basketball and shoot like a guard, making him nearly impossible to defend.
This isn’t lost on Kyrie Irving, whose Boston Celtics will be tasked with slowing down Davis on Monday night at Smoothie King Center.
“AD primarily, he’s one of the best players in the league,” Irving told reporters Monday morning at the Celtics’ shootaround in New Orleans. “He’s unbelievable to guard.”
Davis has quite a track record. He led Kentucky to a national championship in his only season with the Wildcats and became the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. All he’s done is dominate ever since, earning five All-Star selections in his first six seasons with the Pelicans.
Davis wasn’t always so physically imposing. He actually underwent a huge growth spurt in high school after finishing his freshman season at just 6 feet tall. Amazingly, however, Davis has maintained the skills he developed as a smaller guard, prompting a description Monday from Irving that’s both accurate and incredible.
“It’s not too many times that a guy can go through an 8-inch, 10-inch growth spurt, and then treat the rest of us — he treats the rest of us as if we’re playing on a little rim at this point,” Irving told reporters. “He just puts his hands up, and he has the timing and the handle, and he’s going against five men in the league. He does a lot of things that aren’t natural to a big because he was a guard, but I think he uses it to his advantage on both ends of the floor.”
Davis is averaging 27 points, 12.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.7 blocks in 37.4 minutes per game over 16 contests this season. A whole bunch of trade rumors continue to surround Davis, with the Celtics even being linked to the 25-year-old on several occasions in recent years, but there’s one thing everyone can agree on: He’s an absolute force capable of manhandling opponents.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images