Carmelo Anthony playoffs

The fall of Carmelo Anthony

PLAYOFF Melo?

On Wednesday night, with their season on the line, the Oklahoma City Thunder were down 25 points with eight and a half minutes left in the third quarter. Boos were shouted from all around the arena, as the Utah Jazz looked like they were going to shock the Thunder on the road.

All of a sudden, Paul George and Russell Westbrook caught fire. Westbrook, who was abysmal in the first half, went 12-for-23, scoring 33 of his 45 points in the latter half of the game. He also added seven assists and 15 rebounds. George finished the game with 34 points and eight rebounds. Oklahoma City outscored Utah 66-43 in the second half, and ultimately won the game 107-99.

Carmelo Anthony playoffs

“Playoff Melo” is a liability in this series against Utah. (Photo from USA Today)

But where was Carmelo Anthony? He finished the game with just seven points on 2-for-6 shooting in only 25 minutes of play. Throughout the series, Anthony has been awful when he steps foot on the court. In five games, the 10-time All-Star is averaging 12.8 points on 36.9 percent shooting from the field and 21.4 percent from beyond the arc. The 33-year-old has just two assists in his 168 minutes of action, which both came in Game 1.

That is right, he has yet to record an assist in over 130 minutes. On Wednesday, OKC finally realized that they are a better team with Alex Abrines on the court instead of Melo.

Per 100 possessions, Melo’s plus-minus on the court is -12.6. In the regular season, he set career lows in points, assists, minutes, field goal percentage, free throw percentage and steals. Translation: While it has been a fun ride, the United States Olympic men’s national basketball team’s all-time leading scorer is a shell of what he used to be. However, this is a future Hall of Fame player we are dealing with. Let’s show him the respect he deserves.

The Rise

Melo did not become a 10-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA selection and a three-time Gold Medalist with the USA Olympic basketball team by accident.

Carmelo Anthony playoffs

Anthony went for 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in the National Championship Game. (Photo from Orange Fizz)

Anthony ranked No. 2 in his class, behind Amar’e Stoudemire, in regards to the top high school prospects. He committed to Syracuse before his senior year, and boy was it the right call. During his one season with Syracuse, Melo averaged 22.2 points and 10 rebounds, while leading the Orange to their first NCAA Tournament Championship in school history.

In the Final Four game against the University of Texas, Anthony dropped 33 points, which at the time was an NCAA Tournament record for most points by a freshman. In the championship against Kansas, a team led by Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich, Anthony went for 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, all team highs, en route to 81-78 victory for Cuse.

Anthony was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and earned second team All-American honors, as well as All-Big East first team. He decided to leave college after his fantastic freshman season, and was selected third overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 2003 NBA Draft.

Denver and New York Days

In his eight seasons with the Nuggets, Anthony averaged 24.8 points and 6.3 rebounds. He led Denver to the playoffs in every season from 2004-2010. In 2008-09, Anthony brought the Nuggets all the way into the Western Conference Finals. Although they ultimately fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games, Anthony did not disappoint. As a 24-year-old, Melo averaged 27.2 points per playoff game.

Carmelo Anthony playoffs

Glory days (Photo from RantSports)

In 2011, he was sent to the New York Knicks via trade. He was named an All-Star in his six full seasons with New York and led the league in scoring with 28.7 points per game in 2012-13. In 2014 against the Charlotte Bobcats, Anthony scored a Madison Square Garden and New York Knicks single-game scoring record 62 points in New York’s 125-96 victory.

Although he has yet to win a ring, and probably never will, Anthony is one of six players (LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter) to have 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals, and 1,000 3-pointers.

Melo also has four seasons with at least 1,200 points, 150 3-pointers and 300 rebounds. The only players with more seasons matching those numbers are Ray Allen, Stephen Curry, James Harden and Paul George. He ranks 13th all-time in total games with at least 25 points and five rebounds. Anthony trails Kareem Abdul-Jabbar by 10 games in this category.

He has seven seasons averaging 25 points on better than 44.5 percent shooting and three rebounds. The only players since 1990 with more seasons averaging those numbers are LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Shaquille O’Neal.

NO. OF SEASONS AVERAGING 20 POINTS PER GAME

*= Still Active

PLAYER NO. OF SEASONS
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR 17
KARL MALONE 17
KOBE BRYANT 15
LEBRON JAMES* 15
MICHAEL JORDAN 15
CARMELO ANTHONY* 14
SHAQUILLE O’NEAL 14
DIRK NOWITZKI* 13
HAKEEM OLAJUWON 13

Love him or hate him, Anthony is one of the best scorers of this generation. While this season has been a disappointment, don’t forget how electric Carmelo Anthony once was.

 

Featured image by USA Today

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Jeremy

“From our Haus to Yours”

 

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard return on the horizon

Kawhi Leonard is one of the best players in the league when healthy. The 6-7 small forward for the San Antonio Spurs has only played in nine games on the year because of a right quad injury. When playing, the 2014 NBA Finals MVP is arguably the best defensive player in the league, capable of shutting down people big or small. He has won the Defensive Player-of-the-Year twice already in his seven-year NBA career. He was an All-Star Starter for the Western Conference the previous two seasons before this year. He has made four All-Defense Teams and two All-NBA teams.

He is a force to be reckoned with when on the court and makes the San Antonio Spurs so much better when he plays.The Spurs are survived without him, sitting in the third seed in the Western Conference with a 36-25 record. They need him back to make any sort of noise in the playoffs.

Hopeful Return

“Leonard has returned to San Antonio from New York, where he spent three weeks seeking further consultation on a right quad injury that has sidelined him for most of the season, league sources said. Leonard isn’t expected to immediately start engaging in full five-on-five practices with his teammates, but the goal is to advance toward that level of engagement in the near future, league sources said.”

Michael C. Wright and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

After a previous report a few days ago stating that Kawhi may be shut down for the year, this is promising news out of San Antonio.

The Spurs need the player who has averaged 23.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.8 steals and one block per game the last seasons before the injury riddled year this year. They miss his scoring and defense, especially when matched up against the West’s elite such as the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder. With the report saying that Kawhi is targeting March, that is not only good news for Spurs fans, but NBA fans in general. In a season in which too many stars have been bit by the injury bug, this is great news to say the least. Hope to see Kawhi back on the court soon.

Featured Image: USA TODAY Sports/Soobum Im

You can “Like” The Game Haus on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Luca

“From Our Haus to Yours”

Where Does Melo Go From Here?

Nothing seems to be going right in the life of Carmelo Anthony at the moment. Phil Jackson recently gave a press conference in which he said, “I think the direction with our team is that he is a player that would be better off somewhere else and using his talent somewhere where he can win or chase that championship.”

He is unwanted and, according to Jackson, unneeded in New York.

If that wasn’t bad enough, there are reports coming out that he and his wife of seven years will be getting a divorce after rumors that he got a stripper pregnant.

Carmelo’s life and career are at a crossroads. The question that begs to be answered is, where does Melo go from here?

Career Accomplishments

Carmelo Anthony

(Photo Credit: AP Richard Drew)

Carmelo is a legend at Syracuse University. In the 2002-03 season, Carmelo led the Orange to their first national championship. He averaged 22.2 points and 10 rebounds per game. He was also named the tournament’s most outstanding player that season. His future was bright and he was picked third overall in the 2003 NBA draft.

Carmelo has also been a successful international basketball player. One could argue he is the most successful basketball olympian in United States history. Melo has a record of playing on four Olympic rosters, and a record three gold medals. Melo also holds the record for most points scored in a USA Men’s Olympic game with 37 against Nigeria in 2012.

He is first all-time in each of the following: games played (31), career points (336), rebounds (125), field goals made (113), field goals attempted (262), 3-pointers attempted (139), free throws made (53) and free throws attempted (71). He is also second all-time in 3-pointers made (57).

Carmelo’s NBA career hasn’t led to as much hardware, but he has still had a great career. Melo is a 10-time all star, has been named to an All-NBA team six times and was the scoring champion in the 2012-13 season.

One of his best accomplishments in the NBA was when he led the Denver Nuggets to the Western Conference Championship in 2009, but fell to Kobe and the Lakers 4-2.

Carmelo has scored 24,156 career points in 15 NBA seasons. He has over 3,000 assists and over 6,000 rebounds, but a championship is what eludes him. The Knicks have openly said he will be better off chasing that ring somewhere else, but where?

The Path to A Ring

Carmelo Anthony

(Photo Credit: http://clutchpoints.com)

Melo has few options if all he is looking for is a ring. Those options include the Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics.

It would be foolish for the Knicks to release Carmelo Anthony, but it may be their only option. Melo is under contract until July of 2019 and has a no-trade clause. He will veto any trade that is not to a championship contender, or a trade that leaves the new team without the pieces needed to win that elusive title. If the Knicks really want to part ways with Melo, they may have to just cut him.

Boston

The Celtics would be a great fit for both Melo and the team. Boston managed to get the No. 1 seed in the east despite only having one major option on offense in Isaiah Thomas.

Adding Anthony would bring in an easy 20 points per game and veteran leadership to a team that tied for the third youngest team (25.6) in the NBA. Both Melo and the Celtics would help one another in trying to win a ring.

Los Angeles

One team that is often mentioned in Anthony rumors is the Los Angeles Clippers. The team is loaded with talent, but fails to make an impact in the history books.

Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony are close friends who both need to validate their careers with an NBA championship. Neither wants to go down in history like Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller, John Stockton or Karl Malone.

If Anthony is cut, this would be his ideal spot. A team with Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan could only get better by adding Anthony. The Western Conference is loaded, but this makes the Clippers a legitimate threat rather than just a bump in the road out west.

Cleveland

The last team that Melo could sign with, if cut, is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Melo is just as close with LeBron as he is with Chris Paul. Cleveland may win a title this year, but if they don’t, it’s because they ran into a Warriors team that loaded up with Kevin Durant. The answer to that would be to get Anthony and his scoring. He would take pressure off Kyrie and LeBron.

The Cavs are in less need of Melo than Melo is of the Cavs. Signing with Cleveland would prove that all Melo wants is that trophy. He wouldn’t be in the spotlight or the face of a franchise, which is something Melo has never experienced. Signing in Cleveland would all but guarantee him that ring he so desperately wants.

Conclusion

Carmelo Anthony

(Photo Credit: http://clutchpoints.com)

As Carmelo enters the twilight of his playing days, he is focused on one thing: winning. Knowing that  the Knicks no longer want or need him will make him seek a team that does want him.

He will also need a distraction from his personal problems, and finding another team can help with that. It is hard to see where Carmelo goes from here, but one thing is for certain: his playing days in New York are over.

 

 

You can “Like” The Game Haus on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles written by other great TGH writers along with Matthew!

“From Our Haus to Yours”