Bank Shots: Carmelo is king of the Big Apple
Carmelo Anthony is the king of New York basketball.
I’m not talking solely about the Knicks. The new guys in town, the Brooklyn Nets, are loaded with stars, including one of the best point guards in the game, Deron Williams.
Last season Williams played incredible, averaging 21 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. It was one of his best seasons since entering the league.
New York also witnessed the Asian sensation Jeremy Lin who took all the hype away from ‘Melo last year, and deservedly so.
Let’s not forget that ‘Melo sat out several games last season due to injury.
But it’s a new season in New York.
Lin left during free agency and signed a lucrative deal to play in Houston, and the Knicks’ other superstar Amare Stoudemire has yet to play after having knee surgery.
The time was right for ‘Melo to remind everybody why he is one of the biggest offensive threats in the NBA.
He’s done just that.
‘Melo has owned Brooklyn in both meetings this season and has been unstoppable offensively against the rest of the league. He has a new commitment to defense under Head Coach Mike Woodson and is making a case for himself as the MVP of the league. Yes, I know it’s early, but you can’t take that away from him.
In the Knicks’ 96-89 loss to the Nets, ‘Melo scored 35 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. He was 3-5 from beyond the three-point line in the game.
In Tuesday night’s come-from-behind victory in Brooklyn, ‘Melo scored a season-high 45 points and was 5-7 from beyond the arc. This performance was made with five stitches in his left middle finger.
On the season, ‘Melo is averaging 26.8 points per game, which is third in the league behind Kobe Bryant (28.6) and the reigning three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant (27.0). He’s also shooting 43 percent from three-point range, a career high.
The Baltimore-native has his Knicks, who have the oldest roster in the league, sitting in first place in the East with a 16-5 record.
They’re ahead of the defending champion Miami Heat and have blown them out in both meetings this season, albeit one +was without ‘Melo, which makes that loss that much worse for the Heat.
Speaking of the Heat, let me take this time to remind everybody that the Wizards have won three straight games against the Heat.
Now back to the main point of this column.
The other best player in New York, Deron Williams, is only averaging 16.8 points per game this season.
Williams is passing the ball well, averaging 8.7 assists per game, but his shooting numbers are down from last season and Brooklyn has a record of 11-9, 4.5 games behind the Knicks.
The Nets’ other All-Stars include Joe Johnson, who has been playing at an All-Star level for much of his career, but has never been considered as one of the top players in the league, Brook Lopez who is still developing, and Gerald Wallace, who will always be an above average player but nothing more.
Carmelo Anthony has the New York Knicks riding high right now and has taken the crown as the best player in New York.
Now all ‘Melo has to do is take his team deep in the playoffs and he might finally get the MVP trophy he has long wanted.