Carmelo Anthony is one of the best pure scorers in the NBA. He may be second only to Kevin Durant as far as the ability to get the ball in the basket goes. However, he is the defending NBA scoring champion and is currently second in the league in points per game. His New York Knicks have been one of the biggest disappointments in the league so far, but his play is the only reason they are still in the playoff chase.
Anthony is averaging 26.1 points per game, but is only shooting 44.6 percent from the field. He has always been a high volume shooter who can carry his team when he is hot or bury his team if his shot is off. He is tied for the league lead in shot attempts per game at 20.9 and minutes per game at 39.1
If you just look at Anthony’s stat line, you would be impressed with a 26-point, 20-rebound and three-assist game. The 20 rebounds were a season-highm as were his 16 attempted and 16 made free throws. If you look deeper into his stat line, though, you will see a season-worst 17.4 shooting percentage. Anthony made only 4 of his 23 shots and was just 2-for-7 from the three-point line.
The Knicks lost the game 109-95 to the Los Angeles Clippers and Anthony was a -12 on the night. That means the team was only a -2 when he was not on the court. The only player with a worst plus/minus was Andrea Bargnani, who finished at a -18.
This kind of night shows exactly why the Knicks are not a serious contender in the East. With the inconsistencies of J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton, and the injuries to Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire, Anthony has to be spectacular every night for the Knicks to have a chance to win.