What a difference one month can make for a franchise. The New Orleans Pelicans were previously focused on scraping into the Western Conference postseason field. Now, with an eight-game winning streak under their belt, that goal has drastically changed.
So what happened? The Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis absolutely took over in the month of February and was named the Western Conference Player of the Month. This would be the first time Davis has won this prestigious award in his six-year career and is the first New Orleans player to win the honor since Chris Paul in January of 2010. Yeah, that’s what happened.
Going deeper into why Davis got the award, Davis averaged 35 points, 13 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.2 blocks in the month of February. This represented first, third, first and second respectively in the NBA. Additional to that, Davis posted five 40-point, 10-rebound games. The most in a calendar month in the last 35 years, surpassing the former highest total from James Harden, Shaquille O’Neal and Larry Bird.
Davis is clearly having an MVP-type season, carrying the Pelicans on his back into the new year. Davis explained on ESPN why DeMarcus Cousins’ injury prompted him to embrace a new type of leadership, the way Russell Westbrook did when Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City.
With their win last night against the Dallas Mavericks, it moved the ‘birds’ into fourth place in the Western Conference standings. New Orleans has never finished better than a No. 7 seed since 2008. It’s no secret that Davis took this new leadership role, and slammed his size 17 foot down on the conference, making his team excel and become a contender in the West.
Catch you Thursday.