NEW YORK — “It’s not there for him right now,” I said to a fellow reporter to my left as I watched Carmelo Anthony miss short on a 14-foot leaner on his ninth field goal attempt of the game with 3:50 remaining in the first half.
And then… All of a sudden… It was there for Carmelo Anthony… It was everywhere for Anthony. From the 2:49 mark in the second quarter until he put the finishing touches on a 42-point virtuoso offensive performance that helped the Knicks to a 106-104 win over Atlanta, despite allowing the Hawks to shoot 39-65 (a whopping 60%) from the field.
“Well, I mean, it’s just a matter of me taking those shots and making ‘em,” said Melo, who not only dropped 42 points, but also tied the Knicks franchise record for 3-pointers made in a game (9-for-12) and matched Richie Guerin’s franchise record from 1961-62 of 29 straight games with 20+ points. “I know I’m capable of making ‘em. When I’m making them from the outside, from the perimeter, it opens up the game that much more for myself and my teammates and that’s what kind of happened tonight.”
Anthony has struggled to regain true rhythm at the offensive end in January (41.7% on 26 shots per game, compared to Nov/Dec where he was 47.6% on 22 shots per game) as he’s inefficiently put points on the board while New York has attempted to work all of it’s pieces back into the rotation and waited on on point guard Raymond Felton to get healthy again
Sunday night, he showed everyone why being patient and letting him continue to work and be aggressive will pay off in the long run.
Over and over this season opposing coaches have repeatedly stated that you can only do so much against Melo, only keep him from getting hot for so long. Players who possess the ability to put the ball in the hoop the way Anthony does – from any spot on the court at any given time – are impossible to stop.
You can only slow them down, for stretches of time.