MILWAUKEE (CBS Sports) - In a small blue folding chair not really designed for someone of his size, Anthony Davis sat hunched over in the visitor's locker room following the New Orleans Pelicans' 125-123 overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. It was an off night for him as he finished with 27 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. That's right, an off night.
Such are the standards these days for Davis, who is in the midst of one of the truly great runs in recent memory, certainly of the season. Over the past five games, all of which have been Pelicans wins, Davis is averaging 39.2 points, 14.4 rebounds, 3.6 steals, 2.8 blocks and 1.8 assists per game, all while shooting 54 percent from the field overall, and 40.9 percent from 3-point land.
It's the type of run that can not only make 27/13/2 seem pedestrian, but that also forces you to recognize just how special of a player Davis is. And of course everyone knows on some basic level that Davis is one of the true stars in this league, but his is a greatness that is far too often overlooked. His team hasn't always been great, when he partnered with DeMarcus Cousins their talents were often melded into one super player in the minds of many outside observers, New Orleans isn't the biggest market, the list goes on.
Not only have Davis' numbers been impressive, he's literally doing things no one has ever done before. Against the Miami Heat on Friday, Davis registered 45 points, 17 rebounds, five steals and five blocks, becoming the first player in the history of the league to record such a stat line.
And for the season, Davis is currently averaging 27.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, while shooting 35.7 percent from behind the arc. No one has ever put up those numbers for an entire season while taking as many 3-pointers (2.2 per game) as Davis does. The only other player to do it regardless of the 3-point attempts was Hakeem Olajuwon in 1993-94 -- the season he won his only MVP. (Quick aside: How on earth does Hakeem only have one MVP?)
Like Hakeem in '94, Davis should be getting consideration for the MVP Award. Not only are his numbers historic, but in terms of the league this season, he's second in scoring, second in blocks, and eighth in rebounding.
Plus, when you look at his impact on the Pelicans, it's clear they would not be where they are right now without his play. They're plus-3.2 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor, and drop all the way to minus-4 points per 100 possessions when he sits. Comparing those marks to team net-ratings, the Pels play like the sixth-best team in the league with Davis, and the 24th-best team without him.
Not that it's surprising, but Davis' teammates agree he should be in the MVP discussion. "For sure," Jrue Holiday told CBS Sports after Sunday's game, while Rajon Rondo added, "if not now, he soon will be."
The big man himself, though, was not interested in talking about anything but the team and winning together. "As far as me, I'm just going out there and doing my part," Davis said following the win.
Davis' part has truly been monumental this season, especially in these past five games. And the Pelicans will need him to continue putting in these type of shifts as they try to navigate the complicated landscape that is the Western Conference standings.
Currently in sixth place, the Pelicans are just two games back of the Spurs in third, and could easily have home court advantage in the first round. At the same time, they're just 2 1/2 games ahead of the Jazz in 10th, and could easily fall out of the playoffs altogether.