2019 Could Be Anthony Davis’ Best Chance for Winning MVP

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October 31, 2015: New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) dunks the ball during the game between Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA. (Photograph by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire) (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)

Anthony Davis is one of the rising stars in the league. After six seasons in the league, this may be Anthony Davis’ best shot at winning the MVP award. After having the best year of his career statistically, where he was an MVP award nominee and defensive player of the year nominee, this could be his best season yet.

2019 Could Be Anthony Davis’ Best Chance for Winning MVP.

 

The Stats

After finishing ninth in MVP voting in the 2016-17 season, Anthony Davis finished third in the MVP voting, after James Harden and LeBron James. Davis is a player that can greatly impact a team. He is one of those players that teams build around. The New Orleans Pelicans have struggled to build a team around the star forward, but there is still hope.

Davis has gotten better each year in terms of points per game. Since the 2015-16 season, where Davis averaged 24.3 points per game, he has had two straight seasons of averaging 28 points or more.

In the two seasons where Davis averaged more the 28 points per game, he had the fourth highest points per game in the league in the 2016-17 season, and second highest in the 2017-18 season. Davis has solidified himself as one of the best scorers in the league.

Davis was 22nd in usage percentage in 2017-18. That was largely due to the fact that DeMarcus Cousins was also on the team. Next year, his usage rate may look like the 2016-17 season, where he was ranked ninth in usage percentage. The more he is used, the higher the chances of him earning MVP.

Davis is one of the league’s best finishers at the rim. He was able to make 73% of his shots after attempting 625 shots at the rim. He also made 93% of his dunks while attempting 261.

Davis was also one of the best defensive players in the league last year. He finished third in the defensive player of the year voting while averaging 2.6 blocks and 1.5 steals per game.

 

What Makes Davis Great

Anthony Davis is the model for what a big man in today’s league needs to be. He is long, athletic, and can spread the floor. His ball handling allows him to be able to play face up towards the basket. He played point guard in high school, due to the fact that he was only 6’2″ until he had a massive growth spurt.

Spreading the floor is what a big man is called to do in this day and age. Davis has the ability to step out and shoot the three ball or put the ball on the floor and take it to the rim.

The New Orleans Pelicans lost DeMarcus Cousins this offseason to the Golden State Warriors, but that will only help Davis’ campaign for MVP. With a bigger load on his shoulder, Davis will have to have an MVP caliber season if the Pelicans want to go far this year.

He has proven to be able to lead a team to the post-season. The Pelicans were able to win their second playoff series in the history of the league. Davis was able to win the first playoff series of his career in the NBA against the Portland Trail Blazers, where the Pelicans swept the series even though they were the lower sixth seed. Davis had 47 points and 10 rebounds in a series-clinching Game 4.

Even in college, Davis was able to be successful. He won a National Championship and the Wooden Award in his one and only season at Kentucky. Davis averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 4.7 blocks a game in the 2011-12 season.

 

Conclusion

Anthony Davis will have to stay healthy if the Pelicans want to do damage in the Western Conference. During the 2016-17 season, it was reported that Davis had already suffered more than 25 injuries in five seasons. Keeping Davis upright and healthy will be key for the Pelicans and their playoff hopes.

Davis has the second highest chances to win the MVP award according to Bovada. With his abilities, experience, and health intact he will be able to try and contend for an MVP award once again.

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