The only one that seems to be able to stop Anthony is himself. Sometimes his head is actually the best defender, as was the case when he got into an altercation with Kevin Garnett and ended up going 6-26 from the field.
Anthony lit up the Atlanta Hawks for 42 points last night, including a late basket with a foul to give New York the lead that won the game. He tied the Knicks franchise record by hitting 9-12 3PT, and went 15-28 from the field, despite sound defense down the stretch by the Hawks.
I am going to attempt to answer the question that other NBA teams have been wondering all year long: How in the world do you stop ‘Melo?
The first step in getting in Anthony’s head is to get him in foul trouble, or frustrate him to the point that he draws a technical foul. He currently is tied with DeMarcus Cousins, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, and Matt Barnes for the league lead in technical fouls, but Anthony has played fewer games than each of them.
Anthony is going to get his points. When Garnett shut him down, he still ended up with 20 points. So, the other tactic that other teams need to employ in stopping Anthony is not letting him touch the ball early on.
Again, that’s easier said than done.
However, not allowing Anthony to get into his rhythm early on in the game will hinder how quickly he can heat up down the stretch and in the second half. Anthony is averaging an NBA best 9.2 points in the first quarter for the Knicks, accounting for 36% of the team’s points in that time.
So to summarize, don’t let Anthony touch the ball, and try and get him in foul trouble.
To any team that is trying to stop Anthony: good luck.