Anthony Davis is rising among the ranks in the NBA Regular Season Kia MVP debate. Until a few months ago, he was undoubtedly considered a top player but shouldering the responsibility of being his team’s prime performer in the absence of star center DeMarcus Cousins has brought out the best in him.

The recent meteoric rise of the New Orleans Pelicans in the Western Conference standings is largely attributed to the brilliance of Anthony Davis as he’s shooting and scoring at will and putting up a monster stat line.

Anthony Davis
Stepping up when it matters, Anthony Davis is in his best form yet

As of now, the Pelicans sit in a respectable 5th place in the conference where they have had an 8-2 win-loss ratio in their last 10 games. These 10 games aside, if we look at the stat line put up by Davis in February alone, he has put up numbers as impressive as 35 points-per-game and 13 rebounds-per-game, escalating his season average to a mammoth 28.1 points-per-game and 11.1 rebounds-per-game.

For someone who turned 25 just 3 days ago, these are jaw-dropping numbers. Sure, he doesn’t assist much being a power forward (2.2 assists per game) but he produces where it matters the most, which is scoring.

Ever since the Pelicans lost DeMarcus Cousins a.k.a Boogie to an Achilles heel injury, showman Anthony Davis stepped up and helped maintain a 7-5 record for his team where he scored no less than 27 points in a game and hit the 40 points mark, 4 times. He has been ridiculously efficient this season overall, shooting 53.4% of his field goals.

This is just his offensive stat-line.

Anthony Davis And DeMarcus Cousins
Davis (L) has shouldered the responsibility of his team’s success in the absence of DeMarcus Cousins (R)

Talking about defense, the star man has put up numbers where he averages 2.5 blocks per game (which include some highlight worthy moments), with 1.5 steals-per-game and only 2.2 turnovers-per-game (are you listening, James Harden?).

Comparing him to the likes of LeBron James, James Harden, and Kevin Durant, the numbers put up by Davis surely make him a front-runner MVP contender. If the Pelicans can somehow squeeze themselves in the top 3 of the Western Conference and if Davis maintains his consistency, he might just make it to the top 3 candidates for the award.

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Where it is obvious that James Harden’s ridiculous scoring average is second to none, the closest to that is Davis and that speaks volumes about his attitude. With young NBA players taking charge of their teams, it was clear enough that the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis would be contesting for top honors but with Giannis’ Bucks fading away after their initial dominance, Davis has held his own by making a serious case for a top 3 spot.

As it stands, the main competition is between LeBron James (no surprises, there), James Harden and the resurgent Anthony Davis. The only thing separating them in their final rankings will be their team’s positions, where LeBron’s Cavaliers sit in the 4th place, compared to Davis’ 5th and Harden being in the #1 spot with Houston Rockets.

It’s almost inevitable that Harden will win the MVP honor this year after missing out to Russell Westbrook last year but the fact that we’re seeing the rise of an underdog team in an already competitive conference shows how bright the future of the NBA is, with young stars rising to the challenge.

It may take Davis until next season to win the Kia MVP Award but be that as it may if he continues at the same pace, he’ll definitely be among the top 3 candidates this season.

Think you can add more to this article? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!


Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: NBA.com, Sports Illustrated, ESPN + more


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