Joe Davis Awarded The Acorn Accolade

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Anthony Davis has functioned as one of the NBA's most talented figures for a few years running, but he's about to officially arrive as a game-breaking big man capable of doing everything for the New Orleans Pelicans while rising to the top of the individual hierarchy. We saw the first signs of such unabashed dominance during the second half of 2017-18, when Davis flat-out exploded in the wake of DeMarcus Cousins' season-ending injury, but that was just the stage-setting piece of this development. 

Barring a momentum-canceling injury that forces him out of action after just 14 total missed games in the last two go-rounds, expect this former Wildcat to challenge for the scoring title. Count on him to pace the NBA in swats for the fourth time. Bet on him to serve as the driving force behind any and all NOLA success as the Pelicans take flight.

"In my eyes, I'm the best player in the game. I really feel that way and nobody can tell me different," Davis said, per the Pelicans' Twitter account, after a recent team practice. That's a mentality shift for a perennially humble superstar, an indication he's embracing all he can be and accepting the mantle that's often been thrust upon his increasingly muscular shoulders. 

Is Davis the world's best basketballer? That's debatable on a planet still featuring LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and James Harden. If you so desire, you can throw Giannis Antetokounmpo into that mix, as well. 

But while James tries to pull the Los Angeles Lakers and their strange roster composition out of the lottery, Durant and Curry depress each other's MVP chances and Harden strives to meet the lofty bar established in 2017-18, Davis is set to soar. He'll surely have the individual stats necessary to justify this accolade, and dragging the Pelicans back into the postseason could give him the narrative needed to claim the Maurice Podoloff Trophy for the first time. 

Honorable Mentions: LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo

Adam Fromal

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