Following an impressive performance at the Olympics with Team USA, the expectations are high for Carmelo Anthony as he hopes to be the New York Knicks first NBA MVP since the 1969-70 season when Willis Reed won the award.
Coming off of the bench, Anthony averaged a little over 48 points and eight three-pointers per 48 minutes. He shot 53.5-percent from the field, making half of his 46 three-point attempts.
Anthony also broke the U.S. Olympic single-game scoring record against Nigeria with 37 points. He needed just 14 minutes to get the record.
“It’s easy when you have 12 of the best guys in the world on one team but that same mindset (should translate to New York),” Anthony said. “To incorporate that now, to my own team, it makes things a lot easier for myself.”
Playing with the top American-born basketball players could turn Anthony into more of a distributor this season. Team USA had a different superstar lead them to victory each night with players like Kevin Durant, Lebron James and Kobe Bryant.
“This is my 10th year,” Anthony said. “I think everybody pretty much knows I can score the basketball. But for me, I’m done trying to score 30, 35, 40 points for us to win a basketball game. I don’t want that role anymore. It’s what I do best. But in order for this team to be successful with the guys that we have we need a more well-rounded team.”
The Olympics definitely had a positive effect on Anthony so far. He showed up to training camp in excellent shape after losing 15 pounds over the summer.
Anthony appears to be willing to doing whatever it takes to win a championship, but the question remains how committed he is to playing defense. Scoring-wise, Anthony averaged 22.6 points and 3.6 assists, but he had just 6.3 rebounds and 0.4 blocks per game last season.