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There are some moments that bring things to light that you knew were there. Instances that provide clarity based on contrast. Last night’s Knicks-Bulls game was one of those occasions. It was a subtle reminder to any of those delusional Knicks fans (of whom there are droves) that NO, Carmelo Anthony isn’t among the NBA’s truly elite.
Now, now, calm down ‘Bockers backers. This is not an indictment of Anthony’s missed jumper last night. Nor am I claiming that Rose’s make and Melo’s miss signify anything. It’s not about Rose versus Anthony in any way. Instead, it was just a point that triggered this notion in my mind. The notion that Knicks fans just need to remind ourselves of what Carmelo Anthony is — a gifted and prolific scorer who can at times dominate a game in the offensive halfcourt. And what he is not — a top 5 or even top 10 all-around NBA superstar who you expect to control a game when it matters most.
The last sentence makes it sound like I’m insinuating that Anthony isn’t clutch. That’s not the case either. People miss jumpers. He’s made a lot of big ones too. It’s more just the feeling. Yes, I’m talking totally unscientifically here with no super-sophisticated stats. IT’S MY OPINION. There are players in this league who you watch that transcend the level of play on the court. Those players dictate the tempo, feel and, ultimately, on so many occasions, own the outcome of the game. LeBron. Durant. CP3. Kobe. Even players like Westbrook, Rose, Curry and Irving when at the top of their respective games. These are guys who you think to yourself at those crucial moments “he’s got this.” Because, so many times, those players do.
I’ve never felt that way with Carmelo Anthony. I still don’t. He’s undoubtedly one of the best scorers in the NBA. There are periods where he is simply an unstoppable one-on-one player. The basket is like the ocean. It’s incredible to watch. Fans just need to appreciate that for what it is…and Anthony for who he is…and isn’t..