Last night, Carmelo Anthony gave us one of the greatest pure shooting performances of all-time. As his New York Knicks defeated the Miami Heat (without LeBron James and Dwyane Wade), Anthony led the way, shooting 18-26 from the field for 50 points.
Anthony was feeling it all night long: he hit 7-10 from 3-point range, knocked down 7-8 free throws, and only missed eight of his 26 field goal attempts. That wasn’t even the impressive part.
What was most impressive about Anthony’s magical night was that he did not take one shot in the paint. Every one of Anthony’s 18 field goals were jumpers.
‘Melo’s final bucket, a contested jumper from the top of the key, came with 16.9 seconds left in the game, with the Knicks already having put away the Heat. His teammates wanted Anthony to reach 50 more so than he seemed to.
Tonight, Anthony continued to shine.
Against Miami he danced and dazzled along the perimeter, but as the Knicks took on the Atlanta Hawks, he made a living in the paint. He posted up smaller defenders, hit turnaround fade-away jumpers, and of course, hit a ridiculous amount of perimeter shots. Anthony finished with 40 points on 17-27 from the field, including 13 in the first quarter.
New York won handily against the Hawks 95-82, and as the clock winded down Anthony hit a turnaround baseline jumper, leading way to thunderous chants of “M-V-P” booming throughout Atlanta.
Anthony’s play has been worthy of those chants, because, over the course of the last two games, he has solidified himself as the best scorer in the NBA. ‘Melo is currently behind Kevin Durant (28.3 points per game) in the scoring race with 27.9 PPG, but keep in mind that Anthony’s knee had been hobbling him for a good amount of time a few weeks back, but now he is healthy.
“I’m healthy, that’s a big key for me,” Anthony said after his 50 point game, adding, “I feel good. I feel like the beginning of the season as far as that goes.”
With Anthony playing at the level that he is, the Knicks are dangerous. New York has won ten games in a row, and over that stretch has looked like the best team in the NBA. Going into the play-offs, look for the boys in blue-and-orange to play deep into the postseason and make a run at a championship, led by their high-scoring, smiling superstar.