In the latest episode of the Open Floor podcast, Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver discuss Anthony Davis’s insane numbers since losing teammate DeMarcus Cousins and gauge how much MVP consideration ‘The Brow’ should be getting.
Andrew Sharp: On the basketball internet today, everybody is now paying respect to Anthony Davis. But to me, over the last five games he has been absurd. Like Friday night, he had 45 and 17 with 5 blocks and 5 steals.
It’s just outta control what he has been doing since Boogie went down and basically he is breathing life into the Pelicans season. But watching him against Giannis was really cheap nba jerseys eye-opening man. Because a lot of their offense has been coming from Jrue Holiday, who also has been excellent over the last week or so—but he was just head-to-head, mano-y-mano with Giannis and Anthony Davis was the better player.
It was just a good reminder of how outrageous he really is and part of me wished that he was in the East and that he’d been in the East the last few years because I feel like he would have won a playoff series or two and it kind of would have been a bigger deal. He’s kind of suffocated out in the West. It’s just a good reminder that he is basically from another planet.
Ben Golliver: Like clock-work, late February, early March, all the teams come out of the woodwork with the ‘our guy is in the MVP conversation.’ We have seen it with Damian Lillard in Portland. We saw Michael Malone nominate Nikola Jokic and Gregg Popovich walked by and called BS in front of reporters making everyone laugh. This is an annual ritual where all right we have to fill out the top five ballots so let’s all just throw our candidates forward. Anthony Davis deserves to be in the top five right now to me.
Sharp: No question.
Golliver: Similar record to the Bucks, playing in a tougher conference, probably facing more adversity losing Cousins and having less help. The numbers are out of control and the consistency factor here since Cousins went down has been really impressive. To do that crazy 40-15 line you mentioned earlier like once or twice is one thing but Davis is putting up tons of 40-point games, he’s playing 40-plus minutes consistently, you kind of worry about that for his long-term perspective and how much they are relying upon on him. But he’s in that category where you have to give him some MVP love because of the sheer effort that is involved.
Sharp: His two-way value is pretty insane. As far as his MVP case, he’s not going to win it but I was watching that game against Giannis and was thinking the West is super close right now and if the Pelicans were somehow to get to the 5th or 4th seed, he would not only be in the mix for MVP but he would deserve a lot of first-place votes. Harden’s case, we will probably argue about it in a few weeks, is kind of unimpeachable right now—but Anthony Davis I think might be as good or better as a player.
Golliver: Oh come on. Who is having a better season this year? To me it is Harden. Everything that he is doing is translating into wins. I pinned you down on this a week or two ago, and you said Harden deserves MVP love and I said no he deserves the MVP and you said what is the difference then I said exactly he needs to be the MVP. So don’t try to wiggle out of this right now.
Sharp: Harden is very good. One thing I like about watching the Pelicans is it’s like watching a middle school basketball team where one player is clearly going to be making varsity one day and they just throw it to him over and over again. That’s what he has been doing and making it work. I think if you put him in another environment he would be more dominant.
Golliver: Oh definitely. Put him in any other context he would be more dominant.
Sharp: In a vacuum talent-wise, Anthony Davis is up there with everybody. I would say maybe Steph and LeBron are on a different level but he is in the conversation with KD.
Golliver: No don’t do that. Don’t overreact. He’s like 6th or 7th in the NBA overall but if he wins a playoff series we are going to bump him up. I still feel like we have to give the nod to a guy like Harden in this conversation head-to-head.
The NBA announced earlier today that Anthony Davis was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from Feb. 26-Mar. 4.
Davis led the Pelicans to a 3-0 week behind averages of 34.0 points (ranked first in the NBA) while shooting .507 from the floor, and .872 from the free throw line, 15.3 rebounds (ranked third in the NBA and second in the Western Conference) and 2.7 blocks (ranked third in the NBA). Additionally, Davis was the only player to average at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in the NBA over the course of the week. Davis helped propel New Orleans to two comeback wins against Phoenix (17-point comeback) and San Antonio (15-point comeback) and recorded a season-high 53 points in the Pelicans’ win on Feb. 26 versus the Suns. The reigning KIA Western Conference Player of the Month became the first player in NBA history to register at least 53 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks in a game, while setting new franchise records for free throws made an attempted, going 21-of-26 at the line.
This marks the fourth time Davis has earned Player of the Week honors during his career, and the second time during the 2017-18 season, becoming the first player in franchise history to earn multiple Player of the Week honors in the same season since Chris Paul in 2008-09.
Davis is currently averaging 28.0 points (ranked second in the NBA) on .536 shooting from the floor (ranked 15th in the NBA), 11.1 rebounds (ranked eighth in the NBA) and 2.2 blocks (ranked second in the NBA) on the season for the Pelicans.