Five days into the 2013-14 NBA regular season, two players continue to dominate to the point that the record books have taken notice. Surprisingly, it’s not LeBron James and Kevin Durant, or even Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard, for that matter.
It’s Anthony Davis and Michael Carter-Williams.
Davis, a second-year power forward for the New Orleans Pelicans, has been dominating on both ends of the floor. Carter-Williams, a rookie point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, has been doing the same, but in a very different way.
Whether you saw it coming or not, both of these individuals have been dominant. November 2 was no exception.
Anthony Davis Strikes Again
Seriously, I’m not favoring Anthony Davis. He just keeps popping up with historic stat lines.
Davis dominated the Cleveland Cavaliers by posting 25 points, eight rebounds, four assists, six blocks and six steals in 37 minutes. He was 9-of-13 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line en route to a 105-85 Pelicans win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
In turn, Davis became the fourth player since 1985 to block at least six shots and swipe at least six steals in the same game. The other players to do it were Hakeem Olajuwon in 1987, David Robinson in 1990 and Andrei Kirilenko in 2006.
Most impressively, Davis is the first player since Olajuwon in 1987 to pick up at least 25 points, six blocks and six steals in one outing.
The fact that Davis shot 69.2 percent from the field makes it even more impressive. Davis dominated the rim on defense, forced turnovers and finished with efficiency on offense. That type of multi-dimensional dominance just doesn’t happen very often.
That’s probably why it took 26 years for a player to rival The Dream’s production.
Davis opened up the season with 20 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and one steal against the Indiana Pacers. One game later, he posted a superstar-caliber stat line of 26 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks against the Orlando Magic.
Davis is now averaging 23.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 4.0 blocks and 2.7 steals after three games. Does anyone have any remaining questions about this kid’s superstar potential?
The Philadelphia 76ers have jumped out to a surprising 3-0 start with wins over the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat and Washington Wizards. Not only are the 3-0 Sixers proving to be better than a team that’s tanking, but Philly has received extraordinary performances from its young and rising stars.
No player has been more of a pleasant surprise than rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams.
Carter-Williams took over against the Chicago Bulls, posting 26 points, 10 assists, four rebounds and three steals en route to a 107-104 win. It’s also worth noting that defended league MVP Derrick Rose and forced him to shoot 4-of-14 from the field with eight turnovers.
As for the historical importance of MCW’s performance, he’s now the second player in the last 25 seasons to register at least 20 points and 10 assists in at least two of his first three games. The other was Damon Stoudamire in 1995-96.
Stoudamire went on to win the 1996 Rookie of the Year award. Carter-Williams has the look of a player who could do the same in 2013-14.
2013-14’s First Triple-Double
Portland Trail Blazers small forward Nicolas Batum registered the first triple-double of the 2013-14 NBA regular season. He recorded 11 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in 36 minutes during the Trail Blazers’ 115-105 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
Batum now has three career triple-doubles, with both of his others coming during the 2012-13 regular season. Long praised for his world-class versatility, it appears as if the Frenchman is finally living up to his potential as one of the most well-rounded players in the NBA.
Batum is averaging 13.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.0 block through three games.
- Through three games, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls is 15-of-52 with 17 turnovers and 13 assists. D-Rose is 4-of-15 from beyond the arc.
- Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers currently leads the league in scoring (27.7 points per game) and assists (12.0 assists per game).
- Dwight Howard grabbed nine rebounds after hauling in 42 during his first two games. He’s currently averaging 15.0 points, 17.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks after three outings with the Houston Rockets.
- Paul George of the Indiana Pacers had 21 points and 13 assists against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s now scored at least 20 points in each of his first three games. George has never tallied 20-plus in four straight.
- Lance Stephenson has put together three consecutive games with at least 16 points. It’s the first time he’s ever scored 16-plus in three straight appearances.
Max Ogden is a frequent contributor to SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.