Anyone can see that Carmelo Anthony possess uncanny scoring ability. There is also no denying that Anthony should be able to make his teammates better given all of the attention he commands from opposing defenses. Basketball is one sport that accounts for statistics that can be misleading in some cases, and Anthony’s play this season provides a prime example of this point.
The New York Knicks have had only one player lead the team in scoring in every single game this season. Of course, Anthony has been that player, and has often appeared to be the only player on the Knicks’ roster capable of shouldering the scoring load. Needles to say, this glaring lack of offensive balance is a major factor that contributes to the Knicks’ 18 losses through their first 26 games.
A player like Anthony should be able to pick his spots on offense, but Mike Woodson and the Knicks appear to be content just allowing Anthony to attempt a large percentage of the shots for the team. In yesterday’s contest versus the Memphis Grizzlies, Anthony took 22 shot attempts, while no other starter took more than 10. No other starter eclipsed double-figures in the scoring department either.
As this season drags along, it is becoming increasingly more apparent that Anthony is difficult to play with because his ball-dominating style of play causes the rest of the team to become disengaged offensively. This obviously wouldn’t be an issue if the Knicks were winning games, but New York is currently 10 games under .500.
Anthony is currently on a 26-game streak of leading the Knicks in scoring, which is the longest such streak since Nate “Tiny” Archibald did it for the defunct 1972-73 Kansas City Kings. It’s no surprise that those Kings finished with a losing record, which shows that huge scoring numbers by one individual can be an overrated asset to an NBA team.
The issue is not how many points Anthony is scoring, it’s how he is scoring them that has caused the Knicks to stumble out of the gate this season.