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Anthony Davis made 59 points and 20 rebounds look so easy

The Pelicans' superstar showed off the full breadth of his talent and reminded viewers that he can still be the future of the league.

The most staggering aspect of Anthony Davis' awe-inspiring, record-breaking performance in the Pelicans' 111-106 win on Sunday against the Pistons was just how easy he made it all look.

He scored 59 points, the highest point-total in the NBA in two years. He became, at the embryonic age of 22, the youngest NBA player to score that many points in one game. He did so by connecting on 24 of his 34 shot attempts. He also pulled down 20 rebounds, making him just the third player in the past 50 years to record 55 points and 20 rebounds in a single game. The other two are Shaquille O'Neal and Wilt Chamberlain.

The numbers are dumbfounding and the company is flattering. But a closer look at Davis' dominance shows just how unique he is.

Davis has the skills of a small forward in a big man's body. Most dominant centers use strength and power to bend opponents. Shaq certainly did. But Davis' weapon of choice is finesse. A picture-perfect spot-up jumper, followed by a baby hook over a smaller defender on the block. An effortless glide to the rim, capped off with a soft floater. All without seemingly breaking a sweat.

"I think it allows you to understand the type of player that he can [be] if you can create space for him," Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said to reporters following the game Sunday, via ESPN. "If you can create space for him, then you can see -- shooting-wise, taking the ball to the basket, dunking the basketball, rolling hard -- you can see all those things when he's playing in space. He's not a real grind-it-out, bump-in-the-low-post kind of guy, but he can catch it in the post and square up, face a guy up, and you can get good results from that."

Davis is a new-age center for a new NBA. He's what you get when Darwinism meets basketball, the 7-foot answer to Stephen Curry.

It's not that he's soft or allergic to contact or the paint. The Kevin Durant-like mid-range jumpers get much of the attention, and it's understandable why. We rarely see a 7-footer with a stroke like Davis'. He's a good as anyone in the league at the pick-and-pop.

But there are also times when his mid-range game is reminiscent of Kobe Bryant's isolation post game.

That said, Davis is always hunting easy looks and probing for ways into the paint. He did so on Sunday by running the floor, cutting back door, posting up on the block and flashing to the rim.

The 28 points he scored in the paint were a career high. They were the primary reason he was able to put up historic numbers and lead the Pelicans to a win.

Davis' talent has always been there, but it's been shielded from the public because of the Pelicans' lack of success. With the victory, New Orleans now stand at 22-33, 5.5 games behind the Houston Rockets for the Western Conference's eighth and final playoff spot. Instead of competing for one of the conference's top four playoff spots like many thought in Gentry's first year in charge, the Pelicans are likely to finish in the high lottery. Instead of Davis competing for league MVP like many thought he would, he's instead seen most of his numbers stagnate and his efficiency totals drop.

But that doesn't mean he should be ignored as we approach the regular season's home stretch. There are 23 million reasons for Davis to throw the Pelicans on his back and go for 40 every night. Via a provision known colloquially as the "Derrick Rose Rule," Davis' new five-year contract will get a $23 million boost if he makes any of the three All-NBA teams this season.

More importantly, though, Davis is just 22. He's still learning the nuances of the game and what it means to be a leader and a winner. The torch has already been passed from LeBron to Curry, but Davis is the one player in the league with the skill and know-how to steal it from Golden State.

The Pelicans' disappointing season might have illustrated that he isn't quite ready to do so yet, but Sunday's breakout demonstrated that his time might not be far off.