Monday, December 5, 2011

No. 9: Carmelo Anthony

Jacob Noble
I have a hard time analyzing Carmelo Anthony.  Having been my favorite player to come out of the 2003 NBA Draft, having the most success.  Anthony has not been able to replicate his college success to the NBA in terms of team performance.  Although playing against tough opponents, Carmelo has only won one first round series out of 7 tries.  His stats are par to the expectations but until he shows a desire to play both ends of the floor every night, I will still consider his career a short coming.  He has all the tools to be the best player in the league.  After pulling the stunt he did last season, he has no excuses now because he has everything he has asked for.  Do I sound bitter? Well, I am.

James Bucklin
Once he pretty much single-handedly took the usually average Syracuse to a National Championship I knew this dude was going to be a stud in the NBA. A pure scorer. Can kill you on the block, behind the arc and absolutely everywhere in between. Says he could be an elite defender but we haven't seen it yet. If he is doing what he is doing without giving a full effort, which seems to be the case, look the hell out once he is.

Brandon Parker
Let's be honest: It's hard to figure out the one they call 'Melo. In college, he appeared to have the clutch gene, leading Syracuse to a national title as just a freshman in 2003. Then for five years, he never got out of the first round of the NBA playoffs. Then in 2009, when the Nuggets pushed the Lakers to the limit in the Western Conference Finals, I was of the thinking that the Carmelo we all expected (nice stroke from outside, solid post game built on evolving strength, some signs of leadership ability and championship potential) had arrived at the ripe age of 24. But the last couple years have been focused on contract talks and moving to his "hometown" of New York. So really, even though we know Melo is talented, whenever the NBA starts back again is really when we should get our first full gauge of what Carmelo has to offer. Take away the distractions, create some chemistry with Amare and find a serviceable point guard to replace the aging Chauncey Billups and it could be special.

Payton Wales
Carmelo Anthony might be one of the best all-time scorers to play the game. Don't like that statement? Tough. Anthony has gone from a doughy college boy to rock-solid scoring arsenal. Blame his BFF Kobe Bryant for telling him his basketball secrets, but you can't hate the results.

But for all Anthony's scoring prowess, he has some apparent flaws in his game; defense and ball sharing being his main low points. It's going to be those two skills he will have to master if he wants to get the Knicks anywhere close to the Finals in the next decade. He is rightfully at No. 8, but he has the potential to be in the top three. Can he reach it?

Ben Kenna
If Carmelo played as he did in Game 2 of last years playoffs (42 pts, 17 boards, one of the best playoff performances I have watched in a long time), we’d be talking about a top 3 player in the League.  He can score as well and easy as anybody, but it’s his lack of dedication to defense, coupled with his well-documented (and extremely annoying) “is he staying or going” saga that soured me on him a bit.  He is capable of taking over games on the offensive side, but he needs to really devote his time to learning the craft of defense, instead of posing for family pictorials in smut magazines with his fame-whoring wife.


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