Prior to his Denver Nuggets (10-11) losing to the New York Knicks (15-5) at Madison Square Garden last night, George Karl had some kind words about Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony, who played for Karl for seven seasons in Denver.
“I’ve said I feel that Carmelo is going to win a championship someday,” Karl told the New York Times. “He’s going to figure out that the numbers and the stats sheets aren’t important. It’s the scoreboard and the intangibles that make winners champions.”
It seems as though Anthony is doing just that in 2012-13. He has led the Knicks to an NBA best 15-5 record and is third in the league in scoring with 26.8 PPG. Anthony has always been an elite offensive talent, but there is something different about his game this season. He is hustling, diving for loose balls, rebounding and playing defense better than ever before.
For instance, Anthony sat out the Knicks’ previous two games before the Denver match up with a finger injury that he received diving into the stands after the basketball. He received five stitches in his left hand and tried to play, but couldn’t even manage to catch the ball in warm-ups.
Would the old/Denver-Anthony have gone after the ball with such passion? Probably not. That little glimpse of Anthony’s evolution as a basketball player shows the effort that coach Mike Woodson has had his team to exert in the first 20 games of the 2012-13 season.
It’s paying off. The Knicks are the best team in the Eastern Conference.