This wasn’t quite like his previous career night, but Carmelo Anthony is still slightly on fire, once again leading the New York Knicks to victory, this time 110-103 over the Los Angeles Lakers through the sheer volume of his shooting instead of accuracy or efficiency.
Unlike in other years, this really wasn’t a game with too much impact on anyone’s season. The Los Angeles Lakers are going nowhere, and the Knicks are still undecided. The last head-to-head match-up in which both teams were at least 10 games under .500 was on March 10, 1960.
Anthony followed up his 62 point performance before the weekend with 35 against the Lakers on 14-of-31 shooting. He did his best work when Ryan Kelly was guarding him, finishing with 20 points on 8-of-13 from the field when the rookie was on him. The Lakers only double teamed Anthony once when Kelly defended him. Anthony averaged 1.42 points per possession with Kelly on him; 0.71 when it was someone else.
Anthony did most of his damage away from the basket, scoring 22 of his points on mid-range jumpers. He’s shooting 63.9% on that shot over the last two games. He also used post ups quite a lot, scoring 14 points while posting up, the only player on the Knicks to score in that situation during the game.
Sometimes he likes to take it on his shoulders, so we have to take some of that pressure off of him by hitting shots, by making plays offensively. Melo is going to do that against anyone. That’s what he does. Last year we had five guys that averaged in double figures and I’ve always wanted a team where you just didn’t know where it was going to come from. nd we know Melo’s going to get his, but we need everybody to be a part of the offense and touch the ball and feel good about themselves.
It wasn’t all Anthony; the Knicks enjoyed the no-defense approach the Lakers stick to this season. Raymond Felton scored 20 points on 8-of-10 from the field and Tyson Chandler has looked his liveliest since returning, scoring 13 points and adding 14 rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr. continues his relatively good rookie season with 18 points including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, while J.R. Smith didn’t get under anyone’s skin this time, scoring 16 points without taking too many shots off the bench.
The Lakers? They’re playing, they’re fighting, but it’s getting them nowhere. Not that they actually believe this team is headed anywhere but towards a lottery pick, which will probably be the first step towards a new era, with at least one of the old faces.
Can we turn it around? I think we will. If we stick together, continue to work hard and get a couple of bodies back that are key, we can be a lot better and we can get much better results.
The Lakers have lost four games in a row to end their road trip with a 2-5 record. They’ve lost 16 of their last 19 games, dropping them to a 16-29 record, which has most people more interested about what’s going to happen next season than anything this team has to offer this year, despite the nice numbers coming from Pau Gasol, Nick Young (not so much this time when he’s starting in the lineup) and the surprising Kendall Marshall.