BOSTON – You would have thought Anthony Davis was having visions of a double-team coming at him the way he consistently pivoted away from questions about the Celtics’ interest in him.
The 6-foot-10 forward has been the subject of trade rumors involving the Celtics for some time now; enough time for the four-time All-Star to spin away from such questions the way he does most wannabe defenders.
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When asked about whether he pays attention to the Celtics fans who want him donning a C's uniform soon, Davis responses with comments focused specifically on tonight’s game.
“We got a big one tonight,” he said. “It’s a great Celtics team. Kyrie [Irving], Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al [Horford], a lot of isolation basketball so we have to load up, be loud defensively and talk. It’ll be a good one for us.”
And Davis would be a good one for the Celtics, something that seemed a far-fetched fantasy at first which remains a longshot of happening, ever.
New Orleans (22-20) comes in having won three of its past four and finds itself just one game behind Oklahoma City for the fifth-best record in the Western Conference.
NBA executives have repeatedly indicated the only shot that Boston or any other team seriously have at landing Davis, 24, is for the Pelicans to fail to make the playoffs, which many expect would lead to wholesale changes that may include but not be limited to, finding a new home for Davis.
But such speculation is a moot point now, not with the Pelicans playing some of their best basketball of the season.
And a big part of that success has been Davis who is averaging a team-leading 26.7 points along with 10.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.1 blocked shots per game.
He and fellow All-Star DeMarcus Cousins form what many consider the most talented frontcourt tandem in the NBA.
“Davis and his ability to score the ball, his ability to roll to the rim, transition, all that stuff … they’re both very, very good,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
And as much as fans would love to see him in a Celtics uniform, tonight’s game will likely be the only time this season you’ll see Davis in Boston.
Even though Davis tactfully went about avoiding all questions linking him with the Celtics, that doesn’t diminish the fact that he has a tremendous amount of respect for the Celtics team and the organization as a whole.
“They’ve been playing very well; especially start of the season,” Davis said of the Celtics. “They kind of started to slip a little bit toward the end of the beginning. But they got it back, won seven in a row, still number one in the NBA right now. Everyone thought they would slip when Gordon [Hayward] went out [with a dislocated left ankle]; it’s kind of like they picked it up. When one of your star guys go out, guys have to step up and they’ve been doing that all year.”