Despite What You May Have Heard, Carmelo Anthony Doesn't Choke in the Playoffs
"NY Knicks' Carmelo Anthony needs to change perception of being NBA Playoffs bust. So reads the headline to Mitch Lawrence's column in Friday's Daily News. The headline is correct; it is a perception that Carmelo is a playoff bust, not a reality.
Yes, it's true, the bottom line is wins and losses, and neither with the Denver Nuggets, where his teams went 16-30 in the playoffs, or with the Knicks, who have gone 1-8 wit two first round knockouts have his terms been successful. But there's only so much that any one player can do, and Melo has done it.
In 9 playoff series, Anthony has averaged 24.9 points/game; his regular season average is 25. Considering that you face tougher defenses in the playoffs, that's pretty good. Same with assists: a 3.1 regular season average and 3.0 for the playoffs. In total rebounds, he's grabbed 6.4 during the regulars and improved that to 7.4 in the playoffs.
So there is no evidence - none whatsoever - that Carmelo Anthony has choked in the postseason. In fact, all the evidence indicates he's been exactly the same player.
2012-2013 was the best season of his career. He led the league in scoring average, 28.7, actually the only time in his career he's ever led the league in anything. He averaged 2.6 assists/game and 6.9 rebounds/game.
The Knicks are facing a decrepit Celtics teams without Rajon Rondo, and the Knicks, starting tomorrow afternoon at the Garden, have the home court advantage. So, yes, this year the Knicks will not go down in the first round. As for what happens after that, well, as Melo told reporters at Thursdays' press conference, "We ain't thinkin' about Miami right now." So, like Anthony, we'll take our predictions one series at a time.