Anthony Davis has been absolutely phenomenal this year. Davis has been as productive as anyone could have imagined, averaging 21 points per game, 10.2 rebounds per game and a league leading 2.9 blocks per game, on his way to becoming one of the best big men in the NBA. Davis continued his dominance on Sunday, as he set career highs with 40 points and 21 rebounds, powering the Pelicans over the Celtics in overtime and snapping the Pelicans' two game losing streak. Davis shot an outstanding 14-22 from the field and finished with a perfect 12-12 from the free throw line. Davis can't take all of the credit however, because his teammates chipped in as well. Tyreke Evans finished with 26 points and Eric Gordon chipped in with 19.
Davis becomes the only player this year with a 40-20 game and he also becomes the youngest player since Shaquille O'Neal to accomplish the feat. He is the fourth youngest player in NBA history to do it. Although he didn't score a single point in overtime (the Pelicans won thanks to Gordon's timely free throws to give them a 121-117 lead), Davis did haul in a whopping 6 rebounds in the extra period. He became the only player in Pelicans' history with a 40-20 game. Davis is averaging an MVP-caliber 32.3 points per game in the past 6 games.
The Celtics had Jeff Green nearly duplicating Davis' effort, as he had 39 points of his own. Rajon Rondo had trouble from the field, scoring only 6 points, but ended with 14 assists. Despite Green's impressive scoring output, the Celtics couldn't top the Pelicans, falling to New Orleans 121-120. At this rate, the Celtics don't seem to be too upset about it, considering their record and how close they are to potentially getting a top-5 draft pick in this year's talent loaded draft. Getting a Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins type player would be absolutely huge for Boston's reconstruction efforts, and it may make it easier for Boston to resign Rondo.
This game was a flash of Davis' ultimate potential, which is sky high. He has the potential to be the best big man in the league, not only because of his offensive skills, but because of his already elite defensive presence. Davis has become a premier rebounder and shot blocker and it's only a matter of time until he really begins to dominate games, potentially being similar to the great Hakeem Olajuwon. Only time will tell, but so far, it is looking good for the 21 year old Davis.