Originally written on In The Neutral Zone  |  Last updated 11/18/14
No one is going to mistake the city of New Orleans or southeast Louisiana for basketball country. Football has been and likely always will be king there; blood runs purple and gold for LSU on Saturdays, and black and gold for the Saints on Sundays. But one young man in particular brings with him an infectious excitement factor which could somewhat alter hardwood priorities within the Big Easy. Second-year PF Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans has people surrounding the franchise extremely optimistic regarding the team’s outlook for next season and beyond. And with good reason, too. The lengthy 6’11″ player from Kentucky possesses the ability to dramatically alter games on both ends of the floor, as his presence has to be accounted for both offensively and defensively by opposing teams. On defense, Davis possesses the ability to immensely affect shots; his wingspan and athleticism allow him to block shots many would be unable to reach. Offensively he can pressure opponents in a variety of ways with his versatility to score both inside and outside. Anthony Davis provides New Orleans with a versatile big man capable of defeating opponents with the vast array of skills present in his arsenal. His ballhandling ability is truly unique for a frontcourt player of his enormous stature, and that can ultimately be traced back to his days in high school as a 6’1″ star point guard. Additionally the offensive prowess he now possesses can be attributed to his days as a high school guard; he possesses a smooth jumper, the ability to knock down mid-range looks at the basket. Most noticeable to fans and observers is just how lethal Davis is in the near vicinity of the basket. He can finish with ease at the rim on put-back dunks, utilizing his length and wingspan to full effectiveness. With Davis in the fold for the Pelicans, New Orleans unmistakably is eyeing a playoff berth this season for the first time in over four years. The franchise literally and figuratively hit the jackpot by landing the first pick last year and the rights to select Davis out of Kentucky. The timing of the franchise’s winning the first pick seemed highly coincidental, as it came soon on the heels of former star point guard Chris Paul’s well-documented departure west to the Los Angeles Clippers. No views yet
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