Anthony Davis started out the season with a huge performance against the Denver Nuggets, putting up 50 points, 16 rebounds, 7 steals, 5 assists, and 4 blocks. He shot 50% from the field; but this amazing stat line wasn’t enough to get the victory. They lost at home 107-102.
The Nuggets were stopping everybody else on the Pelicans, besides Davis. The rest of the Pelicans starting lineup combined for 29 points, which is atrocious.
After the game, head coach of the Nuggets Mike Malone said that his team would not change their defensive strategy, despite playing against Anthony Davis. Malone also said, “when you play against a great player, you have a problem you need to answer: Are you going to shut him down and create problems elsewhere, or are you going to let him get his and hope nobody else goes off?.”
After his great performance, Davis said, “I’m going to have to --- probably not 50 every night --- but try to get somewhere along those lines every game to give ourselves a chance.”
This game was definitely for the record books; Davis became the fourth player ever to score 50 points in the season opener. The other three players to achieve this feat were Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, and Elgin Baylor. He also became the first player ever to record 50 points, 15+ rebounds, 5+ assists, and 5+ steals.
This amazing night for Davis proves that his teammates don’t need to be that much better, because his presence is all the team needs. Hopefully, we can consistently see this performance from Davis throughout the season.