I recently read an article by Grant Rindner of BleacherReport on Why Carmelo Anthony Has a Legitimate Case for 2013 NBA MVP. He believes that Melo has a legitimate shot at the most prestigious individual award in the association, the MVP. I am actually a huge fan of Carmelo, growing up watching him since his freshman season at Syracuse and still now as a prolific scorer for the Knicks. And while I love me some Melo, it’s time for NBA fans to acknowledge the greatness of the two real MVP candidates. It’s fitting that as I write this, Melo is lighting it up on ABC against the Clippers. Performances like the one going on right now are the reason we are mesmerized with Carmelo. We let these explosive offensive games fool us into believing that perhaps Carmelo Anthony is the MVP. The point of this article is not to bash Carmelo, who is having a nice season, but to show why he can’t be taken seriously as an MVP candidate. First, let’s acknowledge what Melo actually is:
Three All-Stars, Two MVP Candidates. Image courtesy of www.sportsnet.ca.
Scoring Champion? Maybe.
All-NBA First Team? Possibly.
MVP? Apparently debatable…but it shouldn’t be.
In October, Andrew Damelin here at PTP wrote an excellent piece called “The Myth of Melo: Is Carmelo Anthony Overrated?” It received a lot of feedback with some people wondering how one of the best scorers in the world can be overrated while others wondered why it took so long for someone to point out the flaws in his game. I didn’t agree with all Andrew’s opinions, but his analysis of Melo’s defensive deficiencies is spot on. Carmelo STILL is a bad rotation defender, he STILL struggles with on-ball screens and he STILL hasn’t taken rebounding seriously. In Rindner’s article he says “Anthony remains a solid rebounder and someone capable of making an impact on the glass if necessary.” Since when is he a solid rebounder? If he is capable of making an impact on the glass when necessary then he needs to, because it’s necessary the Knicks become better rebounders. Besides Miami, there isn’t a worse rebounding contender than the Knicks who rank 23rd overall.
This season, there are two real MVP candidates. Chris Paul, Melo, Tony Paker, Kobe are all out. It is a two-man race between Kevin Durant and LeBron James and it will continue to be a two-man race between those two until LBJ loses all his hair and retires from the game. Hollinger Stats estimate KD and LeBron add around 18 wins a piece to their team. Carmelo sits at 10.6 wins added. Let’s look at their PER: James at a ridiculous 30.8, Durant with an incredible 29.14, and Carmelo with a very good 24.23.
Clearly, Lebron and Durant are statistically more dominant than Melo. Many people say Anthony is the “best scorer in the world.” Some nights he undoubtedly is, but over the course of a season LBJ and KD are more dominant while being more efficient. They aren’t just the two best scorers in the world, they are the two best players in the world. If you were asked, “what does Carmelo do better than LBJ and KD?” You might say he is a better shooter but Melo shoots 45%, while KD hits 52% and LeBron makes 56%! The only thing Melo does better is grow hair.
It is obvious that Carmelo Anthony is having a very good season. So are Paul, Bryant, and Parker. But the NBA MVP award shouldn’t go to players having very good seasons. The MVP honors must go to LeBron or KD and honestly, if they give out co-MVP honors, I wouldn’t complain. Both are having seasons that nobody could even imagine being possible. It is time we put to rest the MVP considerations for Carmelo. Not just for this season, but for good. His game has been and will always be too one-dimensional to win the award. Kobe is one of the best scorers of all time and early in his career was a lock for the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team. And now, in his 17th season, he owns only one MVP. So even though I love watching Carmelo and the Knicks, it’s time to kill the Carmelo Anthony for MVP talks once and for all.
Cole Krueger (CoJoK22)
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