Today marks Anthony Davis’ 25th birthday and the New Orleans Pelicans (38-27) have a crucial home game against the Utah Jazz (36-30) as they push towards the playoffs. If Anthony Davis is good to go tonight, it will mark the 3rd straight year that he has played on his birthday. However, this will be the first year where 1) it is a home game and 2) the Pelicans have a winning record!
On March 11, 2016, the New Orleans faced the Memphis Grizzlies on the second game of a five-game road trip, coming off a loss to the Charlotte Hornets just two days prior. The Pelicans were 24-39 at the time and lost the game 114-121 in overtime. Davis put up a now-seemingly average 25 points and 13 rebounds on 9/17 shooting. The game would mark the second of a four-game losing streak in a sub-par season as the Pelicans finished 30-52 overall in Alvin Gentry’s first season as head coach.
One year later on March 11, 2017, the Pelicans played the Charlotte Hornets after coming off of back-to-back losses against the Jazz and Raptors respectively. The Pelicans once again had a sub-.500 record heading into the match-up at 25-40. However, this time round the Pelicans came out on top behind a monster performance from Davis, who put up 46 points and 21 rebounds on 18/31 shooting including 4/5 from deep. The Pelicans won that game 125-122, but the team would once again finish with a losing record overall at 34-48 and miss the playoffs.
Here’s the best news: Davis is averaging a whooping 35.5 points and 17 rebounds, shooting 56.2FG% and 66.7% from deep, on his birthdays. Let’s hope he’s able to play against the Jazz this afternoon, continues to add to those impressive totals and the game doesn’t require overtime. If it does, though, don’t be surprised and please don’t blame me!