COMMENTARY | All things considered, Anthony Davis' rookie season has gone as well as can be expected. Although some New Orleans Hornets fans may have had unrealistic expectations for the 19-year-old rookie, Davis is averaging 12.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game for the Hornets.
Of more concern to many New Orleans fans is the number of injuries Davis has suffered this season. Anthony Davis has missed exactly 25 percent of Hornets games due to a variety of injuries. He has suffered a concussion, a stress reaction in his ankle, and a sprained shoulder.
Given the injuries and a number of other coincidental factors, many NBA fans have dubbed Anthony Davis the next Greg Oden. Besides the injuries, both are frontcourt players, only spent one year in college, and were selected with the first overall pick in their respective NBA drafts.
Although Oden missed a similar percentage of games (26) for the Portland Trail Blazers in his first official NBA season, he missed the entire previous season due to knee surgery. When Anthony Davis stepped onto the court for the tipoff of the Hornets' 2012-13 season, he had already had a better season than Oden did after getting drafted.
The only injury that Davis suffered this season of any concern for New Orleans was the stress reaction in his ankle. A stress reaction is a weakness in an area that could become a fracture if not addressed. Given how thin he is along with the meteoric growth spurt he just completed a couple of years ago, Anthony Davis must work out with Hornets trainers in the offseason to bulk up.
His concussion was a freak accident that could happen to any player. In fact, it was his New Orleans teammate Austin Rivers who delivered the shot. The sprained shoulder came courtesy of Brook Lopez, but Davis will return to action for the Hornets on Monday, March 4 after missing only two games.
Given the multiple knee surgeries that Greg Oden underwent in his brief NBA career, Anthony Davis is clearly not in the same situation. The Hornets are not going to the playoffs and except for the concussion, Davis probably could have returned sooner from his other injuries if New Orleans had games with playoff implications.
The comparisons to Greg Oden are inevitable for Anthony Davis given the numerous similarities they share. However, their injuries are not similar in any way. Davis does need to add muscle mass though so he can sustain the rigors of being an NBA frontcourt player. He should then be on his way to a long, successful NBA career.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. Patrick has followed the Hornets since they moved to New Orleans and has covered the team since 2010. He was in attendance the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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