TORONTO — This season was meant to be Anthony Davis’ third-straight breakout campaign. He was supposed to build off New Orleans’ unlikely 2015 run to the playoffs with even more success in 2016. Instead, the Pelicans are the NBA’s most disappointing storyline.
Fair or not, Davis’ inability to single-handedly carry guys like Norris Cole, Omer Asik and Dante Cunningham to a Western Conference playoff spot has turned into a black mark on his previously unblemished resume.
But in his third All-Star Game, the 22-year-old looked like the best player alive on Sunday. With five minutes to go in the game, he led the West with 24 points on 12-of-13 shooting — and the whole time he made everything look so, so easy. It was scary good.
Article continues below ...
And it made us all think: What if Davis had an All-Star teammate (or two) in New Orleans? How much better would the Pelicans look? How much better would he be?
Davis’ statistics have plateaued and his team is struggling, but he’s only one guy. It’s an old debate. Golden State’s Stephen Curry is on top of the world right now, but would he be without Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green?
Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has Russell Westbrook (and vice versa). In Cleveland, LeBron James has Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Kawhi Leonard has an army of San Antonio Spurs.
The best Davis has today is, um, Jrue Holiday? But someday he’ll have more help, and when that happens it’s hard to imagine him not being where Curry is right now.