Through three weeks into the preseason, New Orleans Hornets rookie Anthony Davis has progressed so rapidly that Coach Monty Williams has used him at multiple positions and has run set plays designed to take advantage of his mid-range shooting.
If he continues to develop as a scoring threat in the post and perimeter, Davis could eventually cause match up problems much the same way Dallas Mavericks 7-foot forward Dirk Nowitzki imposes on teams because of his shooting ability.
Already, Davis has developed a high release on his jump shot similar to Nowitzki that makes it difficult for defenders to block.
``I’m just trying to get better each and every practice and not get comfortable,’’ said Davis, who has played limited minutes at small forward. ``I’m just doing what Coach Monty wants - nothing more; nothing less.’’
Davis, the No.1 overall pick in the June NBA draft, has made 50-percent of his shots, leads the team in scoring (15.3) and has grabbed a team-best 8.3 rebounds per game going into Monday night's road game against the Mavericks.
With three preseason games remaining before the regular season begins, Davis has shown more offensive skills than he did last season when he led the Kentucky Wildcats to a national championship and played on the gold medal winning U.S. Olympic basketball team this summer in London..
``He’s shown some things that I started to see in workouts that I didn’t see in college,’’ Williams said. ``He’s got a nice handle and he can shoot the ball. I think someday he’s going to be able to shoot for range consistently.’’
Although shooting guard Eric Gordon has missed all of the preseason with a sore right knee, he has taken notice of Davis’ progress.
`` Of course, he is definitely a rare talent,’’ Gordon said. ``When you’re the No. 1 pick, you’re capable of doing something. I know when I get on the floor, I’m going to use him a lot because I’m a pick-and-roll type guy and I see him. The best thing about him is that he made a major improvement is his jump shot. So I’m definitely going to make him useful when I’m in the game.’’