Carmelo Anthony Looks to Follow Up 50 Point Effort Against Atlanta Hawks

By Ryan Heckman
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, we witnessed one of the greatest performances of the season as Carmelo Anthony put up 50 points on an amazingly efficient shooting night in a victory against the Miami Heat.

The New York Knicks will take the win, even if it was against a Heat team playing without their top two stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. At this point, they need all the momentum they can get as they are nearing the NBA Playoffs.

Tonight, Anthony will have a chance to follow up his unforgettable performance in a battle with another Eastern Conference playoff contender in the Atlanta Hawks.

While the Hawks haven’t had a jaw-droppingly great season, at 42-33, they are still in position to finish towards the top of the conference and have clinched a spot in the postseason. Behind the solid play from their big men Al Horford and Josh Smith, the Hawks have used their size to their advantage.

Horford is averaging a double-double on the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Smith is right up there at 17.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and nearly two blocks per game.

These two will surely have their hands full as they look to keep the slashing Anthony out of the paint tonight. The problem there, however, is that Anthony has been lighting it up from three point range as well, and the Hawks are going to need to make sure the perimeter is locked down too.

Anthony is putting up 28 points per game this year and has shown that he can and will score when and how he wants to. Combined with the play of Sixth Man of the Year candidate J.R. Smith, they have the wing play down to a science.

A matchup to look out for tonight will be the centers Horford and Tyson Chandler going at it down low. Both being more than capable big men, they could be the key to this game for each team.

Actually, who am I kidding? If Atlanta wants to win, they just better focus on shutting down Anthony.

Ryan Heckman is a Minnesota Timberwolves writer and NBA contributor for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google

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