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Sportress of Blogitude

Anthony Davis: I have to ‘play almost perfect’ to give Pelicans chance to win

Anthony Davis is putting tremendous pressure on himself as the unquestioned leader of the New Orleans Pelicans, saying the onus is on him to play “almost perfect” in every game to give the team a chance at winning.

Davis, who did not play in Thursday’s 132-119 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers due to nagging elbow injury, has missed three of the Pelicans’ past four games. Davis did play in Wednesday’s 131-121 loss to the Golden State Warriors, putting up 17 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in 41 minutes. The problem was Davis shot only 6-of-16 from the floor, which inspired him to point out that’s just not good enough.

“Of course, I know that in order to win games, a lot of pressure is going to be on me,” Davis told Yahoo’s Chris Haynes after Wednesday’s loss. “If we lose, it’s on me. If we win, they give my team the credit and I’m fine with that.

“A perfect example [was against the Warriors]. I don’t have a good game and we lose. So, I got to play almost perfect every night to give us a chance to win. But my teammates do a great job. Even the games I didn’t play, those guys have been battling night in and night out to get victories. … I don’t try to put too much pressure on myself, but I know it’s there.”

The Pelicans can offer Davis a five-year, super-max extension after this season. Many in the know suspect Davis might decline the offer, although Davis has consistently downplayed the notion he’s looking to leave New Orleans.

Despite Davis’ insistence, several large market teams, sources tell Haynes, are preparing to make a run at the 25-year-old superstar should he be available in free agency.

The onus is on the Pelicans to surround Davis with more talent to demonstrate to him that the organization is committed to contending for a title. If not, Davis’ self-imposed pressure amid the Pelicans failing to content could be enough to inspire him to head elsewhere.