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Anthony Davis is more fiction than human

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The NBA is starting to realize how terrifying the New Orleans Pelicans star really is. It's impossible to imagine what he'll be like at his peak.

Illustration by Harrison Freeman

There's so much to like about Anthony Davis. At 21 years old, the Chicago-born power forward finds time between fighting Godzilla to rank third in NBA scoring, ninth in rebounds and No. 1 in PER. Not only is he stomping through cities and terrorizing the Power Rangers and their Megazords, but he's once again topping the league with nearly three blocks per game. The monster from Cloverfield is in the top 25 for steals, has 13 games of of 30+ points and 29 double-figure rebound games.

He's also delivered signature moments like this amazing shot to beat the Thunder on Friday.

Anthony Davis is like if one of the Walkers from Star Wars decided to start putting Jedis in the post. His gangling arms feel like someone attached back-scratchers to normal arms and made them work. Guards trying to see over him is like looking for a silver lining on a Monday morning.

There was a graphic recently that showed Davis' growth through the years:

You have to laugh at the fact that he's a Monstar now. It's like if they did the "Where are they now?" montage for Space Jam characters and revealed Pound is now crushing human beings as the star of the Pelicans. If he keeps growing at that rate, he'll reach his final form in about two years and finally take over the Earth.

anthony davis graphic

But Anthony Davis' best quality (besides him being a real life Kaiju from Pacific Rim) is that he's always improving. So many players waste away or short-change their own talent because of lack of work ethic and/or basketball intelligence.  Davis, on the other hand, has done every thing possible to belie the fears that he would go down that path. His numbers are remarkably an improvement on last season's breakout performance. He's going to get better and that is terrifying.

Consider this: he's still only 21 years old, which is absurd. Teammate Jrue Holiday described him with an old adage: "first one in the gym, last to leave." As with most cliches, the natural inclination is to roll your eyes. In this situation, it's more than just talk. Davis is growing at a tremendous rate, whether it's physically, mentally or as a basketball player. All this in spite of him looking like a pterodactyl lost in time.

Guards trying to see over him is like looking for a silver lining on a Monday morning.

Davis is also highly intelligent, a counter to the stereotype that usually follows cyclopses like himself. Pelicans assistant Kevin Hanson described him as the smartest 21-year-old that he knows, praising him for his maturity and patience. And to remind you again: this is a 21-year-old we're discussing here. He was born the same year The X-Files debuted, which is apt because Scully and Mulder are probably looking for him.

Davis is doing all this despite being underused. An article on Pelicans site Bourbon Street Shots noted that Davis is 132nd in the league in frontcourt touches per game and isn't in the top 20 in usage rate, which measures the percentage of possessions a player ends with a shot, turnover or drawn foul. Davis is also being assisted on just under 80 percent of his shots even though he's fully capable of creating his own look. There is so much more space for him to be used even more. He could be twice the beast he is today.

We will eventually see an Anthony Davis that is more fiction than human. More Ultraman than big man.

On-the-court skills aside, Davis has a great sense of humor. He doesn't care that his unibrow looks like an actual Pelican in flight; hell, he's starring in increasingly funny commercials that poke fun at that. He has Blake Griffin's dry humor. From making his eyebrow talk about selling apps to catching James Harden wearing his face, Davis isn't the all-too-serious superstar.

He doesn't care that his unibrow makes it look like his face is calling the caped crusader in Gotham. No, he will gleefully walk around with a Wu-Tang sign above his eyes and laugh about it with everyone else.

At an age when kids are still taking clothes home from college so their mothers can wash them, Anthony Davis is already an MVP candidate and one of the best players in the NBA. His ceiling is in the stratosphere. Davis will be as good as he wants to be, and that's in every phase of the game. He's a monster offensively and defensively, and time is firmly on his side.

Unless he shaves off his V for Vendetta eyebrow and loses his powers, Anthony Davis will eventually be one of the best players the league has ever seen.

All illustrations in this series were done by Harrison Freeman. Click here to view his portfolio. Click here to view our piece on Pau and Marc Gasol.