On Monday, Anthony Davis made an appearance on the Black and Blue Report and divulged plenty of uplifting information. Listeners were able to marvel at his increase in size, drooling over a newly listed height of 6’11’’ and scales tipping 250 pounds, or focus on the fact that he feels fantastic physically, claiming his knee is back to it’s old explosive self. While none of this jubilant news should be cast aside, I found something else he mentioned to Sean Kelley much more scintillating: the New Orleans Pelicans have seemingly adopted the use of new injury prevention techniques.
“We corrected a lot of stuff that was wrong with my hips, knee, ankles, all that stuff,” Davis said. “So, I feel better; I feel great; I feel more explosive, more powerful. I can’t wait to put it all to use starting tomorrow.”
Kelley proceeded to inquire, “What do you think was incorrect in what the media or fans were saying about your situation health-wise at the end of last season? Is there anything that should be cleared up or that you want to make sure that people understand what you were going through?”
Davis replied, “When you hear somebody has surgery and think it was a lingering injury or that this might reoccur again and everything like that, it was, hopefully for me, a one-time thing. It’s just the way I’ve always been taught to play the game. I have never had anyone correct me on how I should squat or how I should jump or anything like that. Constant pounding and constant pressure on your knees when you’re squatting, jumping or running the wrong way is going to stir some things up inside the knee. It was nothing that was significant or anything that was out of the ordinary. First thing people hear when they hear knees is ACLs, MCLs and meniscus. I am no where near close to any of that. Everything with the knee is great.”
“Anthony, somebody told me a long time ago about playing at this level that the number one skill set is availability,” Kelley said. “And I think that honestly if we’re going to have an honest conversation about it you I know have been searching for that full season. What would say that you’ve done differently here going into this year or anything else that would get you closer to I know of your personal goal of making it all the way through?”
“I think just being able to work with some of our guys, Jason, Jared, Duane, all of them guys, and correcting everything that I do,” Davis said. “Like I said, all that stuff that in as far from the shoulders or ankles, I never did do all of that stuff last year.”
Davis would go on to add that his ankles, shoulders, knees, hips — basically everything — is stronger and he believes getting hit in various parts of the body during games will no longer be nearly as harmful to his body. That could bode well for a team that suffered through a league-high 351 missed games due to injury in 2015-16, and rightly called into question the effectiveness of the team’s medical staff, trainers and methodology.
The name of the game today is injury prevention. Those teams who increase the chances of keeping key players on the floor likely improve the odds of having successful seasons. Remember this graph?
Notice the number of playoff teams that sit on the more enviable left side. It’s not some ancient chinese secret anymore, yet would anyone argue that at the end of last season not all medical and training staffs were created equally?
That’s why this latest report from Anthony Davis is so inspiring. It gives hope that the Pelicans are utilizing sports kinesiologists to make biometric assessments to chart player bodily movements. That New Orleans superstar was under constant surveillance over the summer and the training staff invoked correct training methods at each stage.
My biggest wish this offseason was to get concrete evidence of the organization placing a premium on the medical side of things. While it was great to see Jrue Holiday and his tibia make it through an entire season unscathed, the fact that many other players like Tyreke Evans could not begged for more advancements. There is no mistaking that the New Orleans Pelicans have taken a significant step forward in attempting to reduce the amount of future injury. Thank you for that!