Now that another NBA excursion to London is over and people are asking why, one answer comes to mind: Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony’s performance in the New York Knicks 102-87 victory over the Detroit Pistons in London earlier this week demonstrated that he is among the players the NBA wants to showcase to market its product to Europe.
He certainly put on a show with 26 points and four assists. But Anthony also showed he could be human with his five turnovers, plus a mediocre 8-of-19 clip from the floor. That said, he did give the Knicks 40 outstanding minutes.
It was also a good way for the Knicks to get back on track. They’ve had some pretty good contributors in recent games such as Anthony who is averaging 29 points and six rebounds per game, and Anthony can be encouraged that it appears he doesn’t have to do it all. Amar’e Stoudemire is averaging 10.4 points and three assists a game and came up big against Detroit with 17 points, thanks especially to 11-of-12 from the free-throw line.
JR Smith has been shooting very well lately.
Standing tall and helping Anthony in a big way was Tyson Chandler,who continues to have an outstanding rebounding season. He’s been averaging 11 boards a game and had 14 against Detroit.
With the Knicks, the showcase guy is always going to be Anthony. No surprise there. He’s a superstar that the NBA wants to market wherever possible. It turned to gold this particular day.