Davis went off for 50 points (17-34 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 16-17 FT), 16 rebounds, seven steals, five assists and four blocks across 41 minutes in Wednesday's 107-102 win over the Nuggets.
The 50-point outing -- the highest scoring total Davis has posted at New Orleans' Smoothie King Center -- would have been enough for fantasy owners by itself, but Davis' immense across-the-board contributions makes the performance an earlier contender for best single-game fantasy stat line of the season. In addition to posting the massive double-double, the seven steals were a career best for Davis, while the assist and block totals doubled up his per-game contributions in those categories a season ago. Davis' injury issues are well known at this point, but games like these serve as a reminder of why the 23-year-old was still a popular first-round pick in most fantasy formats. If he can surpass the 70-game threshold for the first time in his career and avoid the bumps and bruises that have frequently derailed him in the past, Davis has league MVP upside.
Though Davis once looked at risk of missing the Oct. 26 season opener after suffering a Grade 2 ankle sprain last week, not only was he cleared to start and play 28-to-32 minutes in Thursday's preseason finale, but he soared past that limit while turning in a dominant offensive display. Davis made the scoring look easy for most of the night, particularly in the first half, when he tallied 20 of his points on 9-of-14 shooting. The
Davis (ankle) has been upgraded to probable for Thursday's preseason finale versus the Magic, John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
It was reported earlier Wednesday that the team expected Davis to be ready for the Pelicans' season opener on Oct. 26, but his listing as probable for Thursday's final exhibition outing only provides further optimism that Davis is on the brink of a return. A decision for Thursday will ultimately be given following the team's morning shootaround, but as it stands, Davis should be in the lineup.
Davis has apparently made significant progress in his recovery from a Grade 2 ankle sprain in recent days, as he practiced with the team Wednesday and he could even play in the Pelicans' preseason finale Thursday against the Magic, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein. Whether he plays Thursday or not, it doesn't look like Davis is at risk of missing the start of the season, which is obviously great news considering Davis' status for that Oct. 26 game was thought to be in serious jeopardy just a few days ago.
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