Whenever Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James get the opportunity to square off against each other, it’s definitely one of the NBA‘s marquee matchups. Anthony has a long history with James as they were both members of one of the greatest draft classes of all time in 2003. There was a great debate about whether Anthony or James would have a better career when they were drafted, but there is no question who is the winner at this point.
Anthony appeared to have an advantage over James with his superior individual offensive skill level during their first season, but that unmatched skill seems to have kept Anthony from developing to his full potential. As pure as Anthony’s shooting stroke is from the perimeter and as good as his touch is around the basket, he has fallen way behind James from an offensive efficiency standpoint.
The way James entered the league, there is no way anyone can honestly have predicted he would surpass Anthony from an offensive standpoint. James’ biggest weaknesses as he entered the league was his glaring lack of perimeter shooting ability, but he has been able to overcome this deficiency to become arguably one of the best shooting non-centers ever.
James has shot better than 50 percent from the field for five consecutive seasons now while Anthony has never shot above 50 percent in his entire career. Watching the New York Knicks host the Miami Heat last night, it was clear who has developed into the better offensive player overall 10 years into their careers.
Anthony needs to figure out ways to get easy baskets on a consistent basis the way James has, so he won’t have to expend so much energy trying to score. James may still not be as skilled a shooter as Anthony, but James has definitely figured out how to get the most out of his skills for a more efficient offensive game than Anthony has.
Even though the Knicks emerged victorious in the game, James won the individual battle against Anthony Thursday night.