The release of SI.com’s top 100 NBA players list may have generated a minor controversy and second-guessing by the likes of Portland guard C.J. McCollum earlier this week, but there was no disagreement in New Orleans about this opinion: Pelicans four-time All-Star forward is a top-10 player in the league.
When Sports Illustrated announced its top 10 on Thursday, Davis was ranked eighth, behind only recent MVPs (or bona fide MVP candidates) LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul.
“Defenses barely know what to do with Davis as it is,” SI.com wrote, while extolling the wide-ranging aspects of the 24-year-old’s strengths on the floor. “His face-up game is nasty; a quick first step allows Davis to create momentum toward the rim even in close quarters, a gift that plays well off of the looming potential of his shot over top. As such, defenders wind up crashing into Davis all the time (8.6 FTA per game). They reach and they lunge because what else are they to do? The more Davis moves, the deeper the trouble for the big asked to contain him.”
Davis joined two other New Orleans players in SI.com’s top 100, including DeMarcus Cousins (No. 23) and Jrue Holiday (No. 60).