Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Davis reminded the NBA Wednesday night why they’re the future megastars of the game. Towns scored 14 points in the first quarter of the Timberwolves season opener against Memphis. Davis scored 16 in the first quarter for New Orleans.
Davis won the night by a landslide with 50 points, 16 rebounds, seven steals, five assists and four blocks in the Pelicans’ 107-102 loss to Denver. Towns struggled after the first quarter and added just five more points to finish with 21. He had more assists (five) than rebounds (four) and had one steal and one assist in the Timberwolves' 102-98 loss to Memphis.
The national debate Thursday morning was about which of these two stars will one day take over for LeBron James as the face of the league? One vote went to Towns.
“When you say who is going to be the best in two or three years, who’s going to eventually take over for LeBron, I like Karl-Anthony Towns,” ESPN’s Max Kellerman said Thursday on his show “First Take.”
Towns’ ability to shoot the three-pointer and remain healthy gave him the edge over Davis.
“Not only did [Towns] come into the league shooting the three better than Anthony Davis, but given his injury history so far, knock on wood you hope everyone stays healthy, I think he’s a safer bet,” Kellerman said. “Anthony Davis has yet to show he can really stay healthy all season.”
Kellerman reminded viewers the NBA is a point guard league and for that reason Stephen A. Smith expects Davis to take over for James.
“Apologies to everyone including Karl-Anthony Towns," Kellerman added, "but what Anthony Davis can do, no one can really approximate."
Smith said “which is why it would take Anthony Davis ahead of [Towns]. And I love Karl-Anthony Towns … [he’s] big time. But Anthony Davis is special. He’s a big man that can play like a guard. He can be formidable at both positions. He can be formidable in the back court, he can be formidable in the front court. It doesn’t matter. He’s a matchup nightmare and he has significant prowess defensively.”
Both are University of Kentucky products and former No. 1 draft picks, but Towns won Rookie of the Year while Davis finished second in ROY voting in 2013. Towns (1,503) scored more points than Davis (1,481) last year, while Davis (24.3) averaged more points per game than Towns (18.3).
Who do you think will eventually take over for James? For now, James has proven he still has a lot left in the tank. He had a triple-double with 19 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds in Cleveland's season-opening victory Tuesday night.