After his performances in the month of February, it is clear that Anthony Davis needs to be in the MVP discussion.
Anthony Davis Deserves More MVP Consideration
The New Orleans Pelicans’ forward has been phenomenal in the month of February.
During the month, Davis recorded five games of at least 40 points and 10 rebounds.
And post All-Star Break, he has averaged nearly 42 points per game, 16 rebounds, 4 blocks, and nearly 3 steals. He capped the month with 53 points, 17 rebounds, and 5 blocks in 39 minutes against the Phoenix Suns.
Davis is making an impact in every facet of the game and doing so in an efficient way. To top it off, the Pelicans have won their last eight games and currently sit at 5th in the Western Conference and are only 1.5 games out of third place.
Before this stretch, the Pelicans were 9th in the West.
Before DeMarcus Went Down
Much of the focus has been on Davis’s play in the month of February, and rightfully so, but Davis has been having a great year since the beginning of the season.
Davis started the season as well as anyone, averaging 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds per game the first month of the season.
Before his frontcourt partner, DeMarcus Cousins went down with an Achilles injury on Jan. 26, Davis and Cousins were causing opposing coaches headaches with their size and skill.
Pre-injury, Cousins was averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds per game.
But this is a situation in which Davis has finally turned it on. He’s been playing exceptionally well all year, but without Cousins available the Pelicans have become the Anthony Davis show.
The MVP Race
Davis probably will not win the NBA MVP this season, despite the absurd performances. There are several contenders for the award, and Davis is still pretty far down on the projected candidate list.
According to Basketball Reference’s MVP Tracker, Davis has just the sixth-best odds of winning the league’s top individual award. Davis currently has just a 2.5 percent chance of winning. Houston Rockets guard James Harden is the clear favorite, totaling 68.2 percent. He is followed by Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James.
But Davis does seem to have the endorsement of his head coach, Alvin Gentry.
“It’s tough to be the MVP in the league when you’re in the middle of the pack (in the standings),” Gentry told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “If we had 40 wins right now I think he would definitely be in the conversation. But if they don’t notice what this guy is doing, because there is nobody else in the league coming close…it’s not even close.”
That’s despite the fact that Davis doesn’t seem to care about the MVP race.
“I don’t care,” Davis told the New Orleans Times-Picayune, after that historic performance against the Suns about if he felt overlooked in the MVP race.
Davis and the Pelicans will have plenty of opportunities coming up to catch the attention of the rest of the country, especially if Davis can even stay close to maintaining his historic pace.
The Pelicans still have two games left against the San Antonio Spurs and Houston, one each against the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, and one against the Boston Celtics.
Davis certainly has the look of a guy who isn’t going to let the increased attention coming his way hinder his performance on-the-court.
And he certainly has the look of a guy who has all the tools and skills to put his team on his back and carry them to the playoffs for just the second time in Davis’s young career.
And if he can maintain this performance, MVP voters will have to take a look at the young big man taking the NBA by storm in New Orleans.
Anthony Davis deserves MVP consideration. (Photo by Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)