With his first scoring title in sight and in his grasp, Carmelo Anthony just won’t stop this crazy scoring spree that he’s on, coincidentally going well with the New York Knicks being quite unstoppable themselves at the moment, winning 13 games in a row and clinching their first division title in 19 years.
Even though the Washington Wizards and John Wall (33 points) have been giving a lot of teams a handful of trouble late in the season, the offensive role the Knicks are on right now makes them pretty much unstoppable. Carmelo Anthony scored 36 points on another very impressive shooting night, leading the Knicks to 51 wins for the first time in 16 seasons with a 120-99 victory.
With the win the Knicks are almost certain of clinching the second spot in the East, having 2.5 games over the Indiana Pacers. The Knicks, who have been extremely efficient with their three-point shooting this season also got to tie a franchise record by hitting 20 from beyond the arc at 55.6% accuracy.
Anthony was the individual story of the night, as always. He finished with 13-21 from the field, including 8 rebounds and 6 assists, showing that he can do more than just shoot more than 20 times a game. Anthony is averaging an incredible 40.6 points in April so far, hitting 61.1% of his field goal attempts, and opening an 0.3 points lead over Kevin Durant in the scoring title race, with only 5 games left for Anthony and four for Durant.
Anthony got the usual help from J.R. Smith, who is finding consistent offensive form at the perfect time, averaging a very impressive 20.4 points per game this month so far while usually shooting over 50% from the field, which is twice as hard for him. Iman Shumpert was the more surprising offensive contributor, as the Knicks hope he feels more and more comfortable in his small forward position, which has caused him to feel a bit disgruntled around the trade deadline. Shumpert finished with 18 points on 7-10 shooting.
While division titles mean almost nothing in the NBA, and the Knicks don’t even hang those banners up on the rafters, after such a long period of not being anywhere near the top of the basketball world except for that stunning run to the finals in 1999 there’s a cause to celebrate even something as insignificant as the Atlantic division crown, hopefully giving them even more of boost before the really important part of the season begins.