For a third consecutive year, Anthony Davis will participate in an NBA All-Star game. Although he was not voted in by the fans (and thus will not be a starter), it's more important to note the fact that he will be able to play in Toronto. One year ago, Davis missed the festivities due to a strained right shoulder and was replaced on the roster by Dirk Nowitzki.
Two years ago, Davis scored 10 points and had 2 steals, but he spent just under ten minutes (9:35) on the floor. Will he receive more minutes this time around? A quick glance at the roster reveals no obvious weaknesses, so Gregg Popovich will have to make some difficult decisions. Conspiracy theorists will probably say he'll attempt to run Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green ragged while resting Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, but let's be real, he's a master of diving up minutes correctly.
One player who should vouch for more playing time for the Unibrow should be Kobe Bryant. Earlier today, Davis mentioned that his top priority will be to make the Mamba shine.
Anthony Davis says he's on a mission to feed Kobe Bryant in the All-Star Game. Says everybody should be focused on getting him the ball.— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonWrites) February 12, 2016
How can one not approve of this mentality? Although he's just 22 years old, Davis already understands when it's appropriate to respect one of the game's greats. Just as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and others were once rightfully made the focus during their final All-Star appearances, Kobe Bryant deserves to be treated accordingly.
I expect Davis will play in the range of 14-18 minutes (unless he's ridiculously hot or entertaining); however, that's not such bad news. We've witnessed his ability to make a tremendous impact in a short around of time. In addition, he is scheduled to appear in the Skills Challenge on Saturday night. For the first time in history, big men will appear in a competition that used to be reserved only for guards.
In this year's version, 4 guards and 4 big men will participate, but the two groups will not compete against one another until the final round. FYI: Patrick Beverley will be replaced by Emmanuel Mudiay.
As evidenced in the bracket above, Anthony Davis will face DeMarcus Cousins in the first round. You can bet each former Kentucky Wildcat will be itching to move on and earn some important bragging rights; however, Davis has claimed he did not take any time to prepare for the event. During last night's broadcast of the Pelicans at Thunder game, Brian Anderson, a TNT announcer, revealed Davis had said that he was going to rely on his skills and talents for the Skills Challenge. That's not so bad, after all, he was once a point guard. Good luck with that Boogie!