How Anthony Davis became NBA’s scariest force

The Pelicans star has a penchant for pranks, but his dominance this year has been no joke.

      
 

 

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Anthony Davis and Pelicans are going to see more TV time

The NBA season isn’t even a month old, but already the association’s television partners are putting some flex scheduling into action.  ESPN announced that the network was swapping out a scheduled Knicks-Spurs game scheduled for December 10th and replacing it with Pelicans-Mavericks.
In years past, flexing into Pelicans games would be inconceivable (partly because Pelicans highlights were limited to Scarface), but don’t be surprised if this becomes a pattern this year.  New Orleans is only scheduled for just one other game on ESPN and TNT this year – a February 27th matchup against Miami on ESPN.  They have a further 7 games slated for NBATV.  But there’s one reason and one reason only why this ESPN flex is happening so soon.
Anthony Davis.
Ok, there’s another reason.  The Knicks are putrid.  At 3-10, the only thing keeping them out of the Eastern Conference cellar is the zombie corpse of the Philadelphia 76ers.  But let’s focus on the positives here!
Before the season, the Brow was b

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Anthony Davis is NBA’s scariest force

The Pelicans star has a penchant for pranks, but his dominance this year has been no joke.

      
 

 

View full post on USATODAY – NBA Top Stories

NBA Roundup: Anthony Davis Tops DeMarcus Cousins in Battle of Best Young Bigs

Welcome to the next generation of Western Conference playoff hopefuls, a movement headlined by the two most dominant young big men in the game. 

By their individual numbers, there wasn’t a significant gap between Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins in the New Orleans Pelicans‘ 106-100 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. The former finished the game with what’s become a typical line of 28 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals, while the latter tallied 24 points, 17 rebounds, three assists and two blocks of his own. 

For the season, Davis’ numbers have been slightly more impressive—especially on the defensive end.

But make no mistake about it. Both of these guys have been transcendent this season (and last), returning a level of intrigue to the painted area not seen since Dwight Howard began turning heads with the Orlando Magic.

Having helped the Pelicans to an early 6-4 record, the 21-year-old Davis may even find himself in the MVP conversation in the event his team continues to be successful. Though his 2014-15 sample size remains limited, he’s already flirting with some rare and lofty statistical heights. The Washington Post‘s Michael Lee posted a statistical comparison between Davis’ PER and that stat for three NBA greats:

That mark will likely come back down to earth in time, but there’s no denying how much impact the Kentucky product is making in just his third season.

The Washington Post‘s Neil Greenberg notes that, “Through the early part of this season, Davis leads the league in win shares (2.4) and is averaging 0.353 win shares per 48 minutes. Plus, he has a true shooting percentage of 61.8 percent and has been a force inside the paint.”

Excepting his relative inexperience, it’s hard to find much fault with Davis’ game.

He tied a season high with 31 points in a 102-93 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. Even in a losing effort, he made an impression. 

“He’s a difficult guy to double-team,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts told reporters after the game. “He doesn’t play off the dribble much. It’s usually one or two dribbles, and he’s pretty quick. You’ve just got to make him work, just like all great players. You go down the list, you’ve just got to make him work for his points.”

Impressive as Davis has been so far, he can’t take all the credit for New Orleans’ strong start. Now that his supporting cast (including Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson) is healthy, this team could well find itself in position to squeeze out an incumbent playoff team from the race out west.

Now with a 6-5 record, Cousins’ Kings aren’t far behind.

And while Cousins—also a Kentucky product—may not be generating much MVP clamor, he’s coming into his own as a well-rounded, All-Star post presence. He’s even doing his best impersonation of Davis with seemingly impossible run-down blocks.

Behind the highlights, there’s also plenty to like about Cousins’ consistency, as highlighted by ESPN Stats & Info:

If he and swingman Rudy Gay maintain this pace, the Kings may well challenge the Pelicans as the West’s most dangerous new kid on the block—even if Round 1 between the two sides didn’t go their way.

 

Around the Association

Kobe Joins 32,000-Point Club

Coming off a 44-point season high in a lopsided 136-115 loss to the Golden State Warriors, it took just 28 points from the league’s leading scorer for the Los Angeles Lakers to claim their second victory of the season against the Atlanta Hawks by a final score of 114-109. 

With his 27th point, Bryant reached a milestone achieved by the rarest of company. Bryant is now in the company of three of the best players to ever take the court, as ESPN Stats & Info shared their names:

Just days after the iconic shooting guard set an all-time record for missed field goals, Tuesday’s achievement strikes a far more Kobe-like tone. And he’s about to start piling on with the legacy stuff, as Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News and Baxter Holmes of ESPN tweeted, he’s getting close to Jordan’s third-place ranking on the all-time scoring list:

Not that he’s too concerned about that, as he modestly spoke about the record, per Medina: 

His return to action this season may not save the Lakers, but it’s certainly given us a reason to watch them again.

 

Knicks Can’t Blame Defense on Triangle

Just 12 games into Derek Fisher’s stint as the New York Knicks‘ new head coach, one wonders whether the 40-year-old already misses life as a wise veteran at the end of a title-contender’s bench. 

While the implementation of a new triangle offense had drawn some headlines, it’s this team’s effort on the defensive end that deserves early scrutiny. The Knicks entered Tuesday night’s game giving up 107.3 points per 100 possessions, ranking them 25th league-wide in defensive efficiency, according to Hollinger Stats.

That defensive futility was on full display in Tuesday’s 117-113 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, and Fisher knows it.

“The challenge for every coach in this league is convincing players that defense is the way to win,” he told reporters after the game.

Now saddled with a 3-9 record, that challenge is taking on increased urgency. 

 

Bucks Pass .500 For First Time in Long Time

New York’s continued pain was Milwaukee’s long-awaited gain.

After a 15-67 2013-14 record that qualified as the league’s worst, somehow the Bucks are 6-5 under new head coach Jason Kidd. And for what it’s worth, they remain the only team to have beaten the Memphis Grizzlies this season.

It’s the kind of above-average feeling this team never experienced a season ago. Per The Associated Press (via ESPN.com), “[Tuesday] was the first time the team had a winning record since March 20, 2013, when it was 34-33.”

It’s probably still too soon to welcome Milwaukee back to the land of the living, but it’s fair to say this rebuild appears headed in the right direction.

 

OKC Offense Suffering Separation Anxiety

You didn’t need any advanced metrics to know the Oklahoma City Thunder would struggle to score points without reigning MVP Kevin Durant and his superstar sidekick Russell Westbrook

Head coach Scott Brooks’ shorthanded squad dropped its third straight game on Tuesday, losing by a 98-81 margin to the Utah Jazz. It also marked the third straight game in which the Thunder failed to score at least 90 points.

Entering Tuesday’s contest, OKC was scoring just 94.3 points per 100 possessions, the 29th-ranked offensive efficiency, according to Hollinger Stats. That’s not particularly familiar territory for a team that ordinarily boasts the best scorer in the game.

 

The Return of Swaggy P and Tuesday’s Quote of the Night

Shooting guard Nick Young returned from a thumb injury that sidelined him for L.A.’s first 10 games. He debuted with 17 points and five rebounds off the bench in an efficient 6-of-10 shooting effort.

Young may not radically alter the Lakers’ fate this season, but he did make a difference in their second win. Young shared his thoughts about the game, courtesy of Lakers Nation:

Ah, the SWAG effect—maybe that’s what it was.

While this team’s most fundamental problems remain at the defensive end, Young will play a pivotal role as this team’s sixth man. He has the scoring instincts to become a second option behind Bryant in the offensive pecking order.

Without Bryant on the floor last season, Young posted a career-high 17.9 points per contest while draining 38.6 percent of his three-point attempts. 

[Vine]

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Carmelo Anthony Injury: Updates on Knicks Star’s Knee and Recovery

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony revealed Tuesday night that he’s been  dealing with a knee injury since early in the season.

Steve Popper of The Record had the report:

Anthony, 30, is no stranger to various different minor ailments. Rarely has a season passed where he hasn’t been forced to battle through an injury. He’s in his 12th season in the league and hasn’t played a complete 82-game slate since his rookie campaign.

What the Knicks are always hoping to avoid is a more serious ailment. He’s the unquestioned leader of the team on the offensive end and New York would struggle mightily to replace his scoring output for an extended period of time.

It should be noted Anthony worked hard during the offseason to improve his fitness level.

Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com spoke with the forward’s trainer, Idan Ravin, who said there was no specific weight-loss goal. They simply wanted to get him to a point where he could rely on his body as he beings his 30s.

“In anything, you get older, and getting leaner and lighter helps with the longevity of your career,” Ravin said. “He’s played a lot of years. He puts a lot of mileage on his legs, so the leaner and lighter you are, obviously the better.”

Alan Hahn of the MSG Network provided remarks about the effort from Anthony, who was optimism about the outlook:

Obviously no level of fitness is a guarantee a player will stay healthy, though. Now the question is how long Anthony might miss with the latest injury.

If he misses time, the effort to replace him will likely be collective. Iman Shumpert, Andrea Bargnani, Amar’e Stoudemire and rookie Cleanthony Early should all see an uptick in minutes. J.R. Smith probably assumes a larger scoring burden.

The outlook should be more clear once an update is provided on Anthony.

 

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Anthony Davis posterizes Robin Lopez on alley oop (Video)

New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis finished a fast break alley oop with a monster slam dunk that posterized Portland Trail Blazers center Robin Lopez during the first quarter of Monday night’s game at the Moda Center.Davis scored 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, but the Trail Blazers beat the Pelicans 102-93.Video via G4NBAVideos.
This post appeared first on Holdout Sports.
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Anthony and Smith help Knicks snap 7-game skid (Yahoo Sports)

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Shane Larkin #0 of the New York Knicks shoots over Kenneth Faried #35 of the Denver Nuggets in the second half at Madison Square Garden on November 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Knicks held the Denver Nuggets to one basket in the second quarter and went on to break their seven-game losing streak with a 109-93 win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.


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Burke’s shot gives Jazz win over Anthony, Knicks (Yahoo Sports)

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Trey Burke #3 of the Utah Jazz shoots a game-winning shot over J.R. Smith #8 of the New York Knicks in the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden on November 14, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Trey Burke was so deep in the corner, so well defended, that Carmelo Anthony was sure the game would continue.


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Trey Burke buzzer beater stuns Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

The New York Knicks’ bad luck continued in the form of a Trey Burke buzzer beater as the Utah Jazz stole a 102-100 victory at MSG. Carmelo Anthony put out his best performance of the early season with 46 points including a three pointer that tied with the game with 2.3 seconds left.
Unfortunately for ‘Melo, Burke hit a game winner in those 2.3 seconds to sneak the victory for Utah. The Knicks suffered their seventh straight loss to fall to 2-8. Commentator Walt Frazier ended the Knicks broadcast with the apropos quote “If it wasn’t for bad luck, the Knicks wouldn’t have any luck.”
The post Trey Burke buzzer beater stuns Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks appeared first on Basketball Bicker by Joey.

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Carmelo Anthony on watching J.R. Smith take the final shot: ‘Of course I want it’

Carmelo Anthony stood helpless in the waning moments of Wednesday’s 97-95 loss to the Orlando Magic at the Madison Square Garden as his New York Knicks teammate J.R. Smith hoisted up an off-balance poor three-point attempt with 0.6 seconds left on the clock that clanked off the backboard. Had Smith made the shot, the Knicks…Read More
The post Carmelo Anthony on watching J.R. Smith take the final shot: ‘Of course I want it’ appeared first on Sportress of Blogitude.

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