The New Orleans Pelicans' season came to an end on Tuesday night as they were eliminated from the playoffs by the Golden State Warriors.
It may be a disappointing ending for the Pels but they deserve to hold their heads up high after managing to get as far as the second round against all the odds.
A season-ending injury to DeMarcus Cousins put their hopes of claiming a postseason berth in jeopardy but they overcame this setback to finish sixth in the Western Conference largely thanks to the brilliance of Anthony Davis.
The power forward was determined to do whatever it took to get his team to the playoffs and he put the team on his back as he went on a tear in the final months of the campaign.
He inspired his teammates and was a real leader for the Pelicans both on and off the floor throughout the year.
The 25-year-old didn't want anybody on the team to feel sorry for themselves after losing Cousins and created a real harmony and togetherness in the locker room.
With the way he carries himself, head coach Alvin Gentry sees comparisons in character between his big man and San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan.
"I think any time you have a superstar player like A.D. -- I think he's got like Tim Duncan DNA," Gentry said before the Pelicans' game four loss to the Warriors, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell.
"He's just a low-maintenance guy, loves being around the guys, likes being part of the team and just wants to be one of the guys that's part of the team. And I think any time you have that, you're probably going to have a closeness on your team."
When told about his coach's comments, Davis admitted that Duncan was a player he grew up watching and has always tried to emulate his game.
"I definitely looked up to [Duncan]," Davis said. "He's always calm and collective. He never gets rattled. He gets to the spots he wants to get to on the post. That's how I try to play.
"I watched a lot of film on him, the way he did stuff, even when we played against them, he would always tell me stuff -- 'calm down a little bit,' all this stuff. So I didn't know Coach said that but I always looked up to Tim Duncan, and I always wanted to be just like him."
The five-time All-Star averaged 30.1 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game in the postseason and the scary thing is that he can still get better.
It may be bold to compare him to Duncan after everything the former Spurs man achieved but in terms of talent, there's no doubt that Davis deserves to mentioned in the same breath and he's still got a long career ahead of him.
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