Among the up and coming players in the NBA, Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo probably are two stable names that you increasingly hear more in the conversation for Most Valuable Player.
The argument about which player is better is a natural one due to the proximity in their career. Both are similar in NBA experience, with Anthony Davis being a seventh-year veteran and Giannis Antetokounmpo being a sixth year professional. Physically, both bear almost identical measurements, with the Brow being six foot ten inches and 253 pounds, and the Greek Freak being six foot eleven inches and 242 pounds.
In stature, both players are All-Stars in the Eastern and Western Conference respectively. It is arguable that both are indispensable franchise players. Both play integral roles in helping their teams win and earn their playoff berths. With so much in common, one needs a detailed breakdown of their game in order to decipher who is better. Here, we take a closer look at the edge that each has.
Inside Scoring: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo is frequently seen in highlight reels for his ferocious dunks and drives to the basket. His big double step to the hole also makes his inside scoring more formidable than Anthony Davis.
Outside Scoring: Anthony Davis
Anthony has a more complete perimeter game than Giannis. If you relook the career game-winners by both stars, you will find more three-pointers shot by the Brow than the Greek Freak. Naturally, Anthony wins this round.
Athleticism: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Although Anthony is tall and strong, his frame has remained pretty much the same in terms of muscle built and mass. Giannis has taken his body to new heights every single season. Recently, a photographic comparison of Giannis over the years showed impressive muscular development and bulk growth, owing hugely to the hours of sweat in the weight room. Giannis has muscled his way from a scrawny young Greek player to a dominant forward whose body allows him to play the contact-heavy driving game he now embodies.
Defense: Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis has grown into a leader in orchestrating the defense in New Orleans. With his steady running mate, Jrue Holiday, keeping tabs on the perimeter, Anthony is able to communicate and break down opponent defenses swiftly and effectively. His length and speed make him a match-up nightmare on a nightly basis.
Rim Protection: Anthony Davis
The Brow has become a top-tier post defender and finished top three in last season's Defensive Player of the Year votings. His league-leading blocks and steals put Anthony as top three among big men in both categories last season. His rim protection prowess is also a big part why Pelicans can survive the first round of playoffs last year.
Both players are tied near 13 rebounds a game. Highly efficient and potent rebounders.
Clutch: Anthony Davis
It is notable to mention that during this past two seasons, Giannis has progressed into a better clutch finisher in key moments. However, due to the situation that Anthony is in, where he has less bench and veteran help, Anthony is asked to do more during clutch moments which he excels. Giannis has a buffering offensive cushion from Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon, Brook Lopez, and Eric Bledsoe, so he has less need to step up in every clutch moment.
This category is tied between the two as they are both indispensables in leading their teams’ success.
Basketball IQ: Anthony Davis
With more winning basketball experience, both in Pelicans team and USA basketball team, Anthony is able to imbibe more wisdom from more great coaches and veterans than Giannis has had the fortune to do. That naturally leads to more mature, adaptable and smarter plays.
Better Scorer: Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis sits at second while Giannis Antetokounmpo sits at fifth in 2017/2018 season of scoring ranking. The Brow wins this round but Giannis is making a strong case in this fresh season beginning.
Impact: Anthony Davis
Due to the luxury of having more dependable supporting cast and a former coach of the year, Giannis is able to rely on more team effort than Anthony Davis. The Brow wins this round but one can be assured that when the situation arises, the Greek Freak is ready to make his impact felt.
1 on 1 Game: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo has a more impressive isolation game due to his power, speed, and giant Euro-Step. Anthony Davis loses this round as he excels more in the pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop or screen-and-roll situations.
Mamba Mentality: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis wears Kobe shoes for a reason. He came in as a fifth pick while Anthony came in as a top pick. Giannis always believed that he is a star even during his rookie interview and he backs it up with actions. The confidence, the fearlessness, and winning mindset is stronger in the Greek Freak despite his humbler beginnings.