I thought Anthony Davis was supposed to be limited to around 30 minutes in the season opener! Oh well, Davis not only racked up 41 minutes in the season opener against the Nuggets, he racked up a historic 50 points, 16 rebounds, 7 steals, 5 assists and 4 blocks (so close to a rare 5 x 5). The fantasy God stat line was the first time a player has ever recorded at least 45 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals since steals started being recorded in 1973. It also put him in the great company with Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor as the only players in NBA history to drop 50 in an opener. If that wasn’t impressive enough, he also made an impressive 16 of 17 free throws (take that Wilt), which made him an even bigger fantasy sports God in roto leagues.
Unfortunately, he also had 3 turnovers, including a big one when the Pelicans were down by 3 with 23 seconds left in regulation. They would go on to lose 102-107.
ANTHONY DAVIS’ BEST GAMES
Wednesday night wasn’t the first time AD put up a monster line in a season opener. Back in 2014, he had 26 points, 17 rebounds and 9 blocks in a win over the Orlando Magic.
The performance is known as one of the best recent season openers ever and one of AD’s best. Later that season, he had another almost almost triple-double, which was also a near quadruple-double, with 36 points, 14 rebounds, 9 blocks and 7 steals against the Nuggets. AD did have two overtime sessions and his team did lose.
These were all impressive but his best statistical game, if you focus on offensive efficiency, goes to his February 21, 2016 performance against the Pistons, when he became the 3rd player – joining Shaq and Chris Webber – in the past 40 years to pull off a 50/20 game. His exact stat line was 59 points, 20 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block (24-34 fg, 9-10 ft, 2-2 3pt) and the team got the W.
I also have a few honorable mentions. There’s his 2015 performance against the Thunder with 41 points, 10 rebounds and a game-wining 3-pointer! And there’s GM1 against the Golden Warriors when he scored 20 of his 35 points in the 4th quarter to go with 7 rebounds and 4 blocks. The 35 was the 4th highest scoring postseason debut since 1964 (Kareem, Gary Brokaw, Derrick Rose each scored 36 in their debuts).