Debate continues on Nerlens Noel v. Anthony Davis



Offense: As shown by the stats, Davis and Noel have incredibly close numbers, with Davis barely edging out Noel in points, rebounds and assists.  It is also important to note that Davis holds a higher field goal and free throw percentage than Noel.  This part of the match-up is incredibly close, but the numbers never lie, therefore the choice here is relatively clear overall.  EDGE: DAVIS.

Defense: Much like in the offensive category, the numbers, while close, tend to favor Davis.  The one stat to note in which Noel does take the edge is steals per game, while Davis holds the edge in rebounds and blocks.  The defensive part of this breakdown is even closer than the offensive, but the edge again must barely be given to Davis.  EDGE: DAVIS.

Court Presence: Even in their physical presence, these players resemble each other so well.  Both 6’10, and between 220-230 pounds of pure, athletic build.  Feared as defenders, and respected as future NBA stars, Davis and Noel were very intimidating figures on the college court.  Teams had to constantly game plan to find a way to deal with these two court titans, often to no avail.  Because this category is so close, I’m taking the cowards way out and calling it a wash.  EDGE: EVEN.

Leadership: This is where the breakdown gets tricky.  It is easy to see who has the edge in concrete subjects like offense and defense, because all one has to do is use that fancy little invention “those kids these days are using” (I’m referring to the Internet) and pull up both player’s statistics.  That gives backup to your claims.  However, there are no numbers to measure leadership, so I’m basing my selection on this.  The year Davis played, he was supported by an A-list roster, with two of his  other teammates being selected in the top 20 of the 2012 NBA draft (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went at No. 2 and Terrence Jones at No. 18).  Point being, Davis was a star, surrounded by other stars.  Noel was surrounded by extreme talent, but it’s hard to argue that his aid stacks up in comparison to the aid Davis had at his disposal.  For that reason, I believe Noel had extra weight on his back.  EDGE: NOEL.

X-Factor:  For the X-factor here, I am going to go straight for the bottom line.  All you basketball fans who support the idea of Lebron James being a more dominant player than Michael Jordan and are tired of hearing the “Jordan had 6 rings” argument, you might want to stop reading this article right now.  When it comes down to legacies in sports, fans remember success more than anything.  In sports, success is defined by titles.  Championships define the ultimate level of success in sports and many other aspects of life.  Anthony Davis and the 2011-2012 Cats won the NCAA Division I national championship with relatively no opposition.  Nerlens Noel and the 2012-2013 Cats were knocked out of the first round of the National Invitational Tournament.  EDGE: DAVIS.

Summary:  The general round-up of this breakdown is that these two players are incredibly close in almost every aspect of the game.  They are threats offensively, fearsome shot-blockers defensively, intimidating physical figures, leaders on their teams and have futures bright as the sun.  The fact is Davis tends to be slightly (and I do mean SLIGHTLY) better than Noel in almost all the areas where they both shine.  That added in with the fact that Davis has a national title ring and that Noel’s ring finger is lonelier than the new kid in school, the overall edge has to go to the man with the big brow.