When the New Orleans Pelicans shut down Anthony Davis last March, it hinted at a grim future for their transcendent star.
The 23-year-old was supposed to be spry and durable, but Davis missed significant time in every one of his first four NBA seasons.
Then the facts started coming out. Not only did Davis need surgery to correct tendinosis in his left knee, but he'd been playing with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, an injury he sustained during his rookie season. With a bum knee and a bad shoulder, Davis had still managed to become one of the NBA's brightest stars. But would his injuries derail his future?
Ever since he was shut down last March, Davis has focused on rebuilding himself. "We corrected a lot of stuff that was wrong with my hips, knee, ankles, all that stuff," Davis told TheBirdWrites.com in September. "So, I feel better; I feel great; I feel more explosive, more powerful. I can't wait to put it all to use."
Most notably, Davis focused on re-training the faulty movement patterns and biomechanics he had relied on for years. The result: a more explosive athlete who's also less susceptible to injury.
"[Before this], I had never had anyone correct me on how I should squat or how I should jump or anything like that. Constant pounding and constant pressure on your knees when you're squatting, jumping or running the wrong way is going to stir some things up inside the knee," Davis said.
We saw the results last night during the Pelicans' first regular season game of the 2016-2017 NBA season. Davis made the Denver Nuggets look like they were still waiting to hit puberty. His stat line of 50 points, 16 rebounds, 7 steals, 5 assists and 4 blocks was nothing short of historic:
Anthony Davis had a historic night! He's the 1st player in ANY GAME since 1973 with at least 45 Pts, 15 Reb, 5 Ast and 5 Stl. pic.twitter.com/IPIhsifyj7
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 27, 2016
Despite Davis's divine performance, the Pelicans lost the game by a narrow margin. However, Pelicans management and fans have to be ecstatic about how Davis looked in his first meaningful game back from injury. If he can manage to stay healthy throughout the season, he will likely garner serious MVP consideration.
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