Found December 12, 2012 on
NY Sports Nut:
Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks are off to a torrid start. At 16-5, they own the best record in the Eastern Conference. They hold two 20 point wins over the World Champion Miami Heat as well as a come from behind victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Even the most optimistic Knicks fan could not have predicted where the team would be this early in the season.
There is something else Knicks fans could not have thought would be happening on 12-12-12. No, I’m not speaking of how you have probably heard that it is actually 12-12-12 three hundred and thirty-seven times. I’m talking about how many of Carmelo Anthony’s peers would be singing his praises. But simply telling you that they are praising his play would be doing a disservice to what they are actually saying. They are not just talking about how well he is playing; they are actually letting us know that he should be very high, if not atop, the MVP list.
Ever player has his own set of die-hard fans. Fans that will put “their guy” above all other players-sometimes blindly doing so. But you cannot ignore the amount of support that Anthony is hearing from some of the most respected players in the game right now.
“He’s having an MVP year across the board, the way he’s playing, the way he’s carrying that team. You can see he was definitely focused for the Olympics, and it has carried over,” Brooklyn Nets PG Deron Williams said after the loss at the hand of the Knicks.
To put even Deron Williams’ thoughts in perspective, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith asked Kobe Bryant for his comments on Melo being in the MVP discussion.
“Melo an MVP candidate?” Smith asked Kobe. ”Oh, for sure…is that even a question? I don’t think that’s a question” replied Bryant.
How could anyone disagree? Yes, it is still early. The Knicks have played close to only 25% of their games so far. But in those games, Carmelo is scoring 27.7 points a game, up from his 24.7 ppg career average. He is shooting 46.5% from the field as opposed to his career average of 45.7%. Melo is making 2.5 3s a game this year, but has averaged less than 1 to this point in the NBA. All this is coming in nearly identical playing time-36.3 minutes per game this year and 36.2 mpg overall. His turnovers are down and his rebounds are up. And for all you “stat geeks” he has a PER of a cool 25.28. That puts him at 7th in the league, 6th if you consider one of the players above him is Anthony Davis, who has played only one game. Lebron leads with a 29.15. He is only 0.68 behind Kobe Bryant for 3rd (again, taking Davis out of the equation.)
Those are the tangible stats. But it goes deeper than that this year for Carmelo. How many other times in his career have you seen him jump into the stands for a loose ball prior to this year? How many times have you seen him do it twice within the same month?
Carmelo is doing it on both ends of the court. He is playing defense, moving the ball when he needs too and scoring at will. Head coach Mike Woodson challenged him when he took over for Mike D’Antoni (piece on that coming soon) and he is answering the bell.
Though it is still early, no one can ignore how well the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony are playing. From the sound of it, some of the biggest stars in the NBA aren’t.
Follow Ralph Guerrero on Twitter @ralphguerrero
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