The ways to effectively stop Anthony Davis are slowly dwindling away.
Conventional wisdom used to be push him away from the rim and force him to shoot away from the basket. Only his extensive work on his mid-range game made him a potent scorer from 10-to-16 feet away.
The 45.8 percent Davis converted from that range proved to be 1.1 percent more than league MVP Stephen Curry converted from the same distance.
The 3-point line used to be the one safe haven for players assigned with the task of defending Davis.
No matter the distance, either the 22 feet away in the corners, or the 23 feet and nine inches at the top of the arc, anything beyond the arc was out of range for Davis.
The one shot he managed to convert from 3-point range proved to be a game-winner, as he swished home a shot he double clutched from 30-feet out before releasing beating the buzzer in Oklahoma City.
Other than the devastating shot against the Thunder, Davis missed each of his 11 other attempts from 3-point range last season and failed to convert long distance shot in his final 23 regular season games or any of his post season appearances.
For his career, Davis is an 11.1 percent shooter from beyond the arc, converting just 3-of-27 attempts.
Inside the arc, he was perhaps the most unstoppable scorer in the league, as the former Kentucky star led all players in 2-point field goals made, connecting 641 times from inside the arc.
Last season, the 6-foot-10 forward posted a true shooting percentage of 59.1 percent, while averaging 24.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and leading the league in blocks for the second consecutive season at 2.9 per game and PER at 30.8.
In the pre-season opener, the way he most often scored the ball was on full display.
Not boxing out a player that has averaged 2.7 offensive rebounds per game during his career is obviously a huge mistake, but the massive 7-foot-4 wingspan of Davis means essentially any errant shot is within his reach.
The Pacers had no one that could match-up with the size, speed, agility and athleticism of Davis. Double, or even triple-teaming him didn’t seem to make a difference.
The domination at the rim is expected, as Davis ranked fourth in the NBA with 150 dunks and converted 73.4 percent of his attempts at the rim, an astronomical figure.
The Pacers were lucky enough to avoid having to deal with Davis on the perimeter.
As a team, the Pelicans shot the 3-point shot efficiently last season, connecting on 37 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc (fourth best in the NBA), but only attempted 19.3 shots from downtown each night, 23rd most in the NBA.
In the second pre-season contest of the year for New Orleans, Davis displayed just how thorough his long range shooting is against the Hawks, opening the night with a 3-pointer from the corner.
Early in the third quarter, Davis buried another long range shot, this time from 25-feet out at the top of the key.
For the night, Davis converted 2-of-3 attempts from 3-point range as part of a 20 point, five rebound, three block and one assist effort in 26 minutes of action.
Along with greatly expanding his shooting range, the 22-year-old plans on becoming more physical in the post and has added 12 pounds of muscle to his frame.
The additional weight hasn’t taken away from the advantage he presents with his ability to sprint to the rim. Even with his weight up to 253 pounds, Davis has maintained his 10 percent body fat from last season.
Fantasy basketball players can rejoice, especially the ones lucky enough to land the first overall pick on draft night.
By eliminating the one weakness he had in his game, 3-point shooting, Davis has entrenched himself as the unquestioned top pick for 2015.
Not only did he average a double-double last season, he was the only player to total 200 blocks and 100 steals, rarely turns the ball over, provides decent passing for a big man (at 2.2 assists per game last season) and is now a viable 3-point shooter.
All hail One Brow!