Davis draws comparisons to Garnett

Davis draws comparisons to Garnett
January 4, 2014, 12:00 am
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Anthony Davis' size and style of play lead to inevitable comparisons to Kevin Garnett.

(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON — A lanky big man who can shoot from the perimeter, put the ball on the floor, rebound and defend at the highest of levels.

For former Boston Celtic Greg Stiemsma, those were the traits that made Kevin Garnett a one-of-a-kind talent.

And then he came to New Orleans and is now playing with KG 2.0, better known to most as Anthony Davis.

While Davis isn't trying to mirror Garnett's play, the comparisons between the two are undeniable.

"The similarities, they kind of speak for themselves," Stiemsma told CSNNE.com. "Active big who can step out and shoot it, and still put it on the floor."

He did that and then some on Friday in leading the Pelicans to a 95-92 win over Boston.

Davis finished with a game-high 23 points to go with nine rebounds and three blocked shots.

While the numbers were impressive, it is becoming the kind of performance that the Pelicans are expecting from the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

And like most franchise players, Davis stepped his game up when his team needed him most.

Trailing 90-89 late in the fourth quarter, he got Brandon Bass backed down in the post.

Bass made a great defensive move to cut off Davis going deeper into the paint, only for Davis to counter with a right pivot followed by a swooping left-handed hook shot that put New Orleans ahead, 91-90, for good.

Pelicans coach Monty Williams acknowledges that he has put a tremendous amount of added responsibility on Davis' shoulders in this, his second NBA season.

"But we feel he's a once in a lifetime player," Williams said. "We have to make sure he's ready for what's coming."

Much of the attention on the Pelicans has centered around Williams, now in his fourth season with just one playoff appearance to his credit.

But with the talent base growing, the attention is gradually shifting away from the coach and on to the players; Davis specifically.

"Right now everybody looks at me," Williams said. "But pretty soon they're going to be looking at him. So we try to help ease him into that role. He's done a really good job of it."

Said Stiemsma: "He's been really impressive to me. He runs the floor as well as any big I've ever seen. There's been a few times where he's been like a half step inside the three-point line and in one step, he's practically dunking the ball. When you create points like that, it's pretty dangerous."

Garnett in his prime was known for his athleticism, but not necessarily to that extent.

Having played with both, Stiemsma said there's another significant difference between them as well.

"He (Davis) doesn't have quite the intensity of KG ... I don't know if anyone can match that," Stiemsma said. "But there's definitely some similarities between them, for sure."

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