Carmelo Anthony was named a starter for the Eastern Conference in the 2014 NBA All-Star Game on Thursday night thanks to the fan vote. However, there were plenty of non-New York Knicks fans that were saying that he shouldn’t be a starter, that someone like Roy Hibbert should have taken his place.
On Friday night against the Charlotte Bobcats, Melo put an end to any of that talk.
In a 125-96 throttling of Charlotte, Anthony finished with 62 points and 13 rebounds. His 62 points set the record for most point in a single game in Knicks franchise history and also set the record for most points scored in a single game at Madison Square Garden.
Anyone putting up that kind of scoring production is impressive. When Kobe Bryant dropped 81 points back in January 2006 (eight years and two days ago to be exact), he did so on 28-46 shooting and getting to the line 20 times. What was truly remarkable about Melo’s performance, though, is the fact that he did it on 23-35 shooting and getting to the line just 10 times. Anthony also didn’t commit a turnover, though he also didn’t register any assists.
When Melo is going at a level close to this, it’s something incredibly special. Anthony draws a lot of ire from basketball analysts and fans because of his shoot-first mentality, but he’s truly been the lone bright spot on the Knicks during what’s been an abysmal season overall from a team perspective. It is just one game, but it personified the effort and production that Melo has been giving the Knicks all season and, more or less, validates him being named a starter for the All-Star Game.