According to the NBA 75 panel, Anthony Davis is one of the 75 greatest players in NBA history. An NBA champion, perennial All-Star, and All NBA selection, AD's list of accomplishments are worthy of praise. The former Kentucky Wildcat is one of a kind, able to play the center and forward positions while possessing good ball-handling skills; it is often said that Davis is a "top five talent in the NBA." However, injuries have plagued AD's career, earning him the nickname "Street Clothes" from TNT's Charles Barkley. AD has been as healthy as ever this year, but something still doesn't seem right with the young star.
This year was supposed to be AD's revenge season after missing significant time due to injury coming off his first NBA title. Instead, Davis has struggled mightily this season, shooting 17.9% from the three-point line while also having difficulty finding the mark on his perimeter jump shots. In their most recent contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Davis had 9 points in 20 minutes before leaving the game with an injury. While this is fine for other players, a performance like this is just not enough for a player of AD's stature. AD was also outplayed by his matchup for the evening, Karl Anthony Towns, a player most consider to not be in the same stratosphere as Davis.
Like Davis, Towns has battled his fair share of injuries in his young career, so he has not been able to find a consistent rhythm over the past few seasons. This year, KAT has been relatively healthy and is showing out, averaging 24.4 ppg/9 rpg/3.4 apg on 62.4% TS. More importantly, the Timberwolves are playing their best basketball since trading Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers.
On the other hand, AD's numbers have been slightly under his career averages at 23.3 ppg/9.9 rpg/2.9 apg on 56.9% TS. One would look at Davis' stats and think it's ridiculous for someone to slam his effort, but given the Lakers' advanced age, we expect AD to take it to another level. Did we see the best of AD in the bubble, or does he still have that extra gear to take the Lakers to the promised land? Right now, it looks like AD's best days could be behind him, and younger bigs like Towns are looking to climb up the ranks of the best big men in the NBA.