While it’s clear the New York Knicks are clicking on a level they haven’t been on since the beginning of the season, the scoring and efficiency of Carmelo Anthony over the past few games might even surpass that of his team, playing better basketball on the offensive end than any other player in the NBA right now.
Anthony scored 41 points on 17-28 from the field to lead the Knicks to a 101-83 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, which isn’t only their 11th win in a row; combined with the Pacers losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Knicks are a little bit closer to securing the second spot in the Eastern conference, having a 1.5 game lead over Indiana with 7 games to go (Pacers only have 6 left).
Anthony is averaging 43.7 points per game on his last three, going 50-40-41 during the last three wins. The surprising part is his accuracy from the field, not his strongest suit this season, continuing to be unstoppable without even trying to take easy shots. He mostly relies on 15 footers and beyond, seeing the basket bigger than anyone else in the league at the moment, making 64.1% of his field goal attempts during this short stretch.
And that seems to be the state of mind when J.R. Smith is on the floor as well; in short, two last stops while the rest of the team moves the ball, looking for open three-point shots, although not really making them beyond Smith and Anthony, combining for 8 of the Knicks’ 12 three pointers in the win, not stopping them from attempting 36 shots. Smith scored 30 points on 50% from the field in what’s been a very good winning streak as well when you look at his individual numbers, averaging 25 points per game over his last six.
The rest of the Knicks? Feeling better with Tyson Chandler shedding off a lot of rust, at least on defense, making life very difficult for the Bucks, who are probably going to stay stuck at 8th, without much of a chance to get out of there in the short remaining time, despite the Celtics not doing too well either. The Bucks shot less than 40% from the field (Jennings-Ellis combining for 13-33), while the Knicks hardly turned the ball over, losing it only 9 times during the game, five of them coming from Anthony and the other 4 from Felton.