The NBA playoffs are underway and Carmelo Anthony is continuing to dominate defenders left and right. Besides playing well on the offensive side of the game, his leadership skills off the court are carrying the New York Knicks into a great position after defeating the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the first round of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Anthony has never won an NBA title. The Knicks haven’t won one in what feels like ages. This may finally be the time for the two to win one together. Anthony’s play in Game 2 is just another example of how he can just take over a game, even when the rest of his team is struggling. His scoring has helped the Knicks win 54 games in 2012-2013.
With Anthony playing well, the Knicks’ confidence seems to double within an instance. Raymond Felton was able to get a hot hand, well sort of. Felton didn’t really have the amount of assists that he should have, but he rebounded the ball rather well which is something he needs to do. Even when the Knicks struggled in the second quarter against the Celtics, once Anthony turned on his green light and the Knicks never looked back.
The sixth man of the year, J.R. Smith, is also benefiting from Anthony’s play. Smith has been able to drive in the paint more than ever before due to Anthony’s explosiveness.
There’s one problem with the Knicks though: How will they play in the second round if Amar’e Stoudemire comes back? It would be interesting to see if Anthony, Stoudemire, Smith and Tyson Chandler can each play on the floor at the same time and do so while being productive.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.