July 14, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; United States forward Carmelo Anthony (15) dribbles the ball in front of United States center Anthony Davis (14) as United States head coach Mike Krzyzewski (l) watches during USA team training at the DC Armory. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

Carmelo Anthony a Mentor for Anthony Davis?

The 7-1 New York Knicks are back in action Tuesday night against the New Orleans Hornets and in the process they get their first look at prized rookie Anthony Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

November 9, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Charlotte Bobcats shooting guard Ben Gordon (8) is defended by New Orleans Hornets power forward Anthony Davis (23) during the second half of a game at the New Orleans Arena. The Hornets defeated the Bobcats 107-99. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Davis has gotten off to a tremendous start to his rookie season, averaging 16.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, but does he owe some of his early success to Carmelo Anthony, who served as a mentor to Davis during the Olympics in London?

I will say that again. Carmelo Anthony the mentor, just in case it didn’t sound right the first time.

But everything about Anthony has been different this season.

Davis recently told Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“He’s a great player,’’ Davis said. “Hopefully, he can make me better. It’s going to be a challenge. He was helpful [during the Olympics]. He has that faceup game down pat.

“We just joke around. I would just do it and try to imitate him. But he’d actually tell you, ‘This is what you need to do.’ He helped me a lot. He’s a funny guy. He can definitely play the game of basketball. They both really work, and I know [tonight] they’re going to be very aggressive and we have to match their intensity.’’

When Davis refers to them both, he also refers to Knicks’ center Tyson Chandler, who you would expect to take a young big man under his wing.

But not Anthony. At least not until now.

Yet ‘Melo has really been a guy that has changed the way he has approached the game.

Now he and Chandler will get an up close look at probably the early front-runner for the Rookie of the Year award and slowing him down will go a long way towards a Knicks victory.

Not too many rookies come into the NBA already having won a gold medal, getting to spend time with the best this game has to offer.

Davis is much better off for getting the opportunity to do so.

So is Anthony.

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