Anthony Davis: Successful but Susceptible

There’s only so much stress a new player in the NBA can handle.  At some point, each rookie is bound to hit the unavoidable “rookie wall”, or make some sort of “rookie mistake” that either costs his team a game or finds the player a nice piece of the bench to keep warm.  Sometimes it’s both a game and bench time.  Sometimes it’s the “rookie wall” and “rookie mistakes”.

And sometimes it’s injuries.

Anthony Davis, one of the most heralded draft picks in recent years, has yet to run into the “rookie wall” or make a “rookie mistake”.  He has, however, been hit by the injury bug several times already, and the season has yet to reach the quarter mark.

Anthony Davis has the potential, but he needs to be on the court to make a difference for his team (bleacherreport.com)

Davis has been one of this years top rookies when he’s on the court.  AD is averaging 16 points per game (second among rookies), 8.3 rebouds per game (first among rookies), and an outstanding 2.2 blocks per game (also first among rookies).  Were Davis playing in every game in this young season, he probably would’ve unseated Damian Lillard from the top spot in our Rookie Rankings by now.  Yet a minor concussion and a lingering ankle injury have Davis sidelined for five games already and now tonight’s game against the Denver Nuggets.One thought behind the injuries is that Davis’ body simply isn’t used to the more physical competition that the NBA offers.  Standing at a tall and lanky 6′ 10″ and 220 lbs., Davis has been pushed around by his larger opponents, and it’s already started to take its toll on his body.

Another issue for Davis is that his body could be going through difficult times as it continues to adjust to itself.  Davis, mind you, entered high school at a mere 6′ 1″ before sprouting to 6′ 9″ by his junior year.  Ideally, Davis should still be a sophomore in college and a mere two years (three at most) away from this massive growth spurt.  As Davis’ body continues to try to grow into its own, Davis continues to put it through rigorous poundings game after game, which can’t help matters very much.

Anthony Davis has all the tools to be a fantastic player.  He has the length, athleticism, and on-court awareness to be an All-Star for years to come.  Right now, though, he just needs his body to cooperate.

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Thomas Robinson’s New Best Friend

I was scrolling through Twitter the other day when I came across this retweet from Thomas Robinson:

A few things popped into my mind instantaneously.  First and foremost, I’m glad to see that these new teammates are spending ample time together.  It’s very hard to work as a cohesive group on the court if you don’t know each other very well off of it.  I thought, “Isn’t this great; DeMarcus Cousins is acting as a role model to his new teammate–”

And then it hit me…

I don’t really know if I’d want DeMarcus Cousins acting as a role model for a Top 5 draft pick, especially after the fiasco’s that occured last season, which included the firing of Paul Westphal, and a demand to be traded while only in his sophomore campaign.

Don’t get me wrong; DeMarcus Cousins is a great player.  Last year alone, the man averaged 18.1 ppg, 10.9 rpg, and 1.2 bpg, while increasing his total output in points, rebounds, blocks, and steals per game.  He also improved his field goal and free-throw percentage from his first to his second season.  Cousins will have a fantastic career from a numbers standpoint, yet it’s his off-the-court issues that have many worried.

In that sense, it worries me that Robinson may learn the wrong things from his new teammate and “mentor”.  Yet only time will tell how Robinson transitions into the pros, and that the performance of these new friends on the court will be the only thing talked about off of it.