Written by: Joe Ryan (twitter: @joeryan1621)
All these ideas and examples were thoroughly discussed with my brotha (@deanpeluso on twitter) this morning. Giving credit where credit is due.
Carmelo Anthony has been a perennial talent in the NBA for years and years. After being drafted into the NBA in 2003, he bursted onto the scene averaging 21 points per game and 6 rebounds per game in his rookie season. He led the Nuggets to the playoffs that year as an 8 seed. But for so many years Carmelo has been a scapegoat in the NBA. One of the best talents the NBA has ever seen always gets criticized and always get crucified for not winning a title. But I beg the question, why? Why does Carmelo get so much heat for not winning a title? Let me break it down real quick.
For starters, Carmelo has never played for the quote on quote super team. Think about the players Melo has played with over the years. Who was the best point guard he has ever played with? Through the research I believe the best point guard Melo has ever played with was an aging Allen Iverson back in the 2007-2008 season. And that team won 50 games. Granted they were swept out of the playoffs but that’s because they were an 8 seed and had to play the Lakers in the first round. Imagine today’s NBA when a 50 win team is an 8 seed? Let me put that into perspective. If that Nuggets team played today and won 50 games they would’ve been the 4 seed in the East and a 6 seed in the West. It just goes to show how Melo played on a team with such little talent and had to play in a LOADED conference. Can you fault him for that?
Let’s break down every team Melo played in the playoffs in his entire career.
2003-2004: (1) Minnesota vs (8) Nuggets- Wolves win series 4-1. Wolves go all the way to WCF
2004-2005: (2) San Antonio vs (7) Nuggets- Spurs win series 4-1. Spurs win the NBA championship.
2005-2006: (3) Nuggets vs (6) LA Clippers- Clippers win series 4-1. Clippers lose the next round to the Suns in 7 games. This series is the first series Melo should’ve won.
2006-2007: (3) San Antonio vs (6) Nuggets. Spurs win series 4-0. Spurs later win the NBA championship.
2007-2008: Nuggets lose to Lakers. See above. No shame in this.
2008-2009: Nuggets advance to the Western Conference Finals and lose to Lakers who end up winning the title.
2009-2010: Utah Jazz defeat Nuggets 4-2. Melo averaged 30.7 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists per game. All career highs in the playoffs.
2010-2011: Knicks swept by Boston. *Melo played 30 games for Knicks that year via trade*
2011-2012: NBA lockout season. Knicks make the playoffs as 7 seed and lose in 5 games to the newly super team Miami Heat who go all the way to be Finals that year.
2012-2013: Knicks lose in the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Pacers**
It may not seem as if Carmelo has had much success in the playoffs and you would have an argument. But look at like this. Look at the teams Melo had to face in the playoffs. 3 times the team Melo lost to won the championship. And 3 times the team Melo has lost to either went as far as the NBA finals or the conference finals. Where am I getting at? Carmelo was only upset in the playoffs maybe 1-2 times. The second time might’ve been when the Knicks lost to the Pacers in 2012-2013. The Knicks were the higher seed but Jeremy Lin who was running the point, refused to play even though he was 85% healthy. It’s the playoffs. You have to play. JR Smith failed to hit a shot the entire series and Jason Kidd at the age of 38 was running the Point Guard and Amar’e didn’t play. Melo literally had to carry that team in that series. Can you even blame him for losing that series? Every other series he played in his team was the underdog. Every year he was the David to the Goliath and we’re gonna blame him for losing and not winning a title? Look at his playoff stats. They’re incredible.
(Via Wikipedia and basketball reference)
Who are the best players Carmelo has ever played with. If I were to rank them it would go
1. Amar’e Stoudemire *
2. Tyson Chandler
4. Allen Iverson *
5. Chauncey Billups *
6. Jason Kidd *
*indicates players playing out of their prime when played with Melo.
Like look at those players. Are you freaking serious? How is Carmelo supposed to win a title playing with these guys. Especially when these super teams are forming. LeBron is in Miami playing with Wade and Bosh. Durant is in Golden State playing with Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green. The Spurs were a super team but they did it the right way and respectful through the draft. But nonetheless the Spurs were a super team. The Lakers had Kobe and were the best team in the NBA for years. Like how is Melo supposed to compete with these teams by himself? Players have to join other teams with other hall of fame players to win a title but guess what? Carmelo Anthony never did that. He wanted to win in Denver and when he couldn’t he wanted to win in New York. He stills wants to win in New York. He has done everything he could do to win in New York. He wanted to bring other star players to him, not himself to other star players. Since Melo joined the Knicks in 2011 he has had to play for 5 different head coaches. That is not a recipe for success.
Carmelo Anthony is one of the best talents to play in the NBA. Definitely one of the best scores and the fact that he gets so much hate for not winning a title when he was the underdog ever single time is a damn shame. And how come Chris Paul doesn’t get shame? He’s been in the same situation as Melo, with better talents and hasn’t even made a conference finals? But everyone praises CP3? For what?
It’s time to put some respect on Carmelo Anthony’s name. And it’s time for him to get some real talent around him so he can win a ring.
The Knicks have played 60 games without Melo in the lineup the last 3 years. The Knicks record in those 60 games? 9-51. Proves how bad the talent is he has played around. That record shows it all.
This ain’t his fault. It’s management fault for letting Carmelo Anthony’s point guard be Langston Galloway for 2 years.
Shaking my damn head.
Melo is the most loyal and most respectful players in the game. Put some respect on his name.
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