NBA superstar Anthony Davis dominated all over the court in the New Orleans Pelicans’ victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, as he finished with 32 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists, three blocks and three steals. While there was a lot to like about this performance, his facilitating is interesting because his eight assists are a career-high for the 25-year-old.
Even though New Orleans lost distributor Rajon Rondo during free agency, Davis’ assists still came as a bit of a surprise. Before the 2017-18 season, the big man averaged 1.7 assists per game. He had a career-best 2.3 assists per game last year, and his season-high was seven dimes back in November 2017.
Davis had recorded seven assists in a game two other times in his NBA career, including once in January 2016 and once in March 2015. But when New Orleans opened the season against Houston on Wednesday, his eight assists set a personal record.
During his 2018-19 debut, he recorded 50 passes to his teammates — only slightly higher than his average (44.2) from last year. But the most notable difference is the chemistry he had with Nikola Mirotic, who was 5-for-5 from the field after passes from Davis. Three of those Mirotic makes came from three-point range. This is Mirotic’s first full season with New Orleans, as the Pelicans acquired him in a trade last February. .
All eight of Davis’ assists occurred in the Pelicans’ halfcourt offense, which was a bit of a surprise because nearly 20 percent of his dimes last year occurred in transition.
It’s unlikely that Davis, who was a 6-foot-3 point guard in high school, will continue dishing out so many assists as the season progresses. But even if he is able to show similar flashes moving forward, it would certainly help the Pelicans and positively impact his Most Valuable Player campaign.