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Anthony Davis' Growth

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Smith has a piece up in the Times-Picayune today explicating Anthony Davis' growth in the second half of the season, even as he finishes the year on pace to place just second in the Rookie of the Year race to Portland's Damian Lillard.

From that story, Monty Williams on Davis:

"At this point," Williams said, "we want him to use his speed and quickness against guys who are stronger than he is. He's had so much put on him, you spend a lot of time trying to protect him from that. But he's certainly handled the task.

"As he gets stronger, he's going to have a better jump shot, he's going to be able to develop a post move. This summer, we're going to work on a go-to move for him that he can go-to. His weak-side defense is going to have to get better. But with his ability to block shots, I think that's going to make him a defensive stud some day, especially on the weak side."

Davis' numbers over the last five have been particularly impressive -- four double-doubles and 20/18 and 17/15 performances vaulting his season PER back over 21. Lillard's stands at 17.0. At this stage, it's abundantly clear who the more impactful player is, though injuries will ultimately dictate the ROY winner.