Saturday, June 23, 2012

Anthony Davis Doesn't Pass the Eyebrow Test

Now that King James has finally won his crown, we can look to the NFL season NBA draft that is less than a week away. Don't worry......despite the title of this post it will NOT be a 4,000 word rehash of the 20,000 uni brow jokes on Twitter. I think those have been exhaustive and Twitter has once again succeeded in beating a dead horse, but I do think there is something to Anthony Davis' look (both his refusal to shave that thing and his actual basketball game) that doesn't exactly blow me away.

When New Orleans won the draft lottery it spawned 5,000,000 "The NBA is fixed" blogs/tweets. Everyone thought that Stern fixed it so the Hornets could select Anthony Davis and suddenly be a juggernaut in the West......I'm not so sure. Look around the NBA.....much like in the real world the good looking people tend to also, in an unfair twist, be the most successful. Lebron, Wade, Kobe, DHoward, Jordan....the best players in the NBA might not be Brad Pitt, but they almost all have style and a certain magnetism. Of course I guess you could argue that none of those guys have had their image immortalized with breakfast cereals. Something tells me Anthony Davis will likely not grace the cover of GQ during his career. Remember some other #1 picks who didn't exactly "look the part"? Greg Oden, Andrea Bargnani (double whammy of also having a girl's name), Michael Olowokandi........ actually there's been a lot of first round "can't miss" bigs who missed. And let's be honest here, Davis brings an entirely new meaning to "face of a franchise".

"That's ridiculous, you can't say a player will be a bust because of how he looks?!?!?!?" Okay, fine, then let's discuss actual basketball. Remember the much ballyhooed NCAA Championship game? Davis played spectacular defense, but was 1-10 from the field for 6pts. He's 6-10 220.....pretty big for today's one and done NCAA field, but not exactly a giant in the middle in the NBA. I saw him struggle a little bit when opponents got physical with him. Davis averaged 14 and 10.....not exactly Lebronesque stat stuffing numbers against mostly undersized competition. In his senior season his high school began the year 0-6 and finished 6-19!!! Surround Lebron, Kobe, or Rose with 5th graders and I'm not sure they'd lose 6 straight games as seniors! Especially at 6-10! Of course he grew some 10-12 inches during HS and saw his basketball hopes skyrocket and his game change (he was the primary ball handler in HS....which I doubt he will serve as in the pros). Can he play D? The answer would seem to be a resounding yes, but when has Serge Ibaka been the face of the OKC Thunder?

Davis does have some unique skills, and pretty much only has a season or two of post development under his belt. I like his intensity, which when applying the eyebrow  eyeball test is one of my first questions, but how will he fare against consistent NBA bigs over 82 games? My guess is he will be an average NBA big somewhere in the Samual Dalembert, Marcus Camby mold with a Serge Ibaka ceiling. He seems like a good kid and I wish him the best. NBA fans know the league could use a few more dominant big men for fans to watch, and I would be glad for him if he became one, but I'm not holding my breath. Sometimes you just have to throw the hype out the window and listen to what your eyes and head say. Good luck New Orleans.....I'm sure the billboards for next season will be traffic inducing at the least.