Anthony Davis: Legit MVP choice

But the main reason he might not win the award? His team isn't very good

Updated: November 13, 2013, 12:30 AM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider

Anthony DavisLayne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty ImagesAnthony Davis' hot start has made him a viable MVP candidate early on.

Anthony Davis has a problem.

The New Orleans Pelicans big man is currently having a historic season. After two weeks of ball, he's averaging 21.7 points and 11.6 rebounds per game along with 3.9 blocks and 2.3 steals. Think of Paul George blended with Roy Hibbert. And unlike most board-and-block monsters (ahem, Dwight Howard), Davis is shooting 86.8 percent from the free throw line on 7.3 trips per game, which gives him an above-average true shooting percentage.

Throw this all together and you've got a player efficiency rating of 29.5. No one's is better. And then you realize that he's just 20 years old. We've never seen a PER that high from someone who can't legally drink. LeBron James never did it (25.7 PER in 2004-05) and neither did Shaq (22.9 PER in 1992-93) or Chris Webber (21.7 PER in 1993-94). By any metric, he's one of the best players in the league, if not the best. If you want more evidence, heading into Monday's games Davis was tied for the league lead in WARP, the advanced metric developed by Per Diem partner Kevin Pelton.