The 2016-17 NBA season tipped off earlier this week and Anthony Davis offered two early reminders to basketball watchers on Wednesday night. The New Orleans Pelicans forward was plagued by nagging injuries last season that kept him from playing on the U.S. gold medal winning Olympics team.
However, he quickly reminded the basketball world just now good he is beginning his season with a game that was historically productive, of which the NBA had never witnessed.
Unfortunately, the results of the game reminded basketball fans of how little help Davis has around him on the Pelicans at this point.
Davis played one of the most brilliant performances for an individual on Wednesday scorching the nets for 50 points against the Denver Nuggets. His scoring line was 50 points, 16 boards, 7 steals, 5 assists and 4 blocked shots in just 41 minutes of play.
He joined the likes of Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain as only the fourth player in the history of the NBA to score 50 points in the first game of the season.
The former overall No. 1 pick and an All-NBA forward hit 17 of 34 field goals, was 16 of 17 from the free throw line and turned the ball over just three times despite carrying the entire weight of the offense for the Pelicans on his own shoulders.
New Orleans turned the ball over late with only 18 seconds remaining when they could have tied the game with a three. From then on, it was New Orleans fouling the Nuggets each time Denver gained possession the final few seconds.
New Orleans was playing without Davis’ two best teammates. Jrue Holiday was away caring for his newborn and his wife after she had brain surgery. In addition, Tyreke Evans has still not recovered from an injured knee that caused him to miss preseason.
The Nuggets on the other hand used teamwork to out point the Pelicans with 7 players scoring 9 points or more, led by the 23 from Jusuf Nurkic their center.
For New Orleans, Davis scored 50 points while the entire rest of the team scored a combined 52 points and shot only 36% from the floor.
Davis began his season showing just how great of an offensive force he is, but it also showed that opponents might let the forward score huge numbers each night, as he at this point is the only offensive threat the Pelicans have on the floor.