There’s no question young Kristaps Porzingis will eventually assume the lead role, but for now the New York Knicks are Carmelo Anthony’s squad.
New York Knicks (11-14)
Minnesota Timberwolves (9-15)
Today, 7:30 PM on MSG, FSN
Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, New York
By Robby Sabo
Is he or isn’t he a superstar? This has always been the question.
Since Carmelo Anthony came to New York City during the second half of the 2010-11 season, he’s been at the heart of the conversation for New York Knicks‘ fans. Discussing whether or not he is a true superstar of the NBA seems to be one of the favorites.
We know this: he’s most definitely a “scoring” superstar.
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Very few in the history of the NBA have possessed the skill-set Melo’s showcased. Having the rare ability to dominate at both the 3 and 4 spots in the lineup, he’s often abused the smaller defender down low and faced-up on the bigger guy only to gain an edge with a devastating first step or drain a 15-footer in the guy’s face.
It are these specific talents molded together that have allowed him to average silly stat lines such as 25.1 points per game for a career.
Entering the 2015-16 season, however, and despite his scoring-rich career, real doubt surrounded Anthony’s status. Coming off troublesome knee surgery, which limited him to just 40 games a season ago, Anthony’s status was a giant question mark.
And quite honestly, it still is.
Being the scorer he traditional has been, shooting .412 from the floor simply won’t get the job done. He’s struggled mightily with his shot through the first quarter of the season, not fully capitalizing on the chemistry he and young Kristaps Porzingis could have had by now.
Not until this past Saturday night in Portland had Anthony made a true superstar statement this season.
One game following the disaster of an ending in Sacramento which featured Rajon Rondo raping Melo on a last moment chance to tie, while simultaneously being questioned by Charles Barkley for questionable leadership abilities, Anthony responded in a major way.
— Sporting News NBA (@sn_nba) December 13, 2015
He poured in 37 points on a very efficient 13-of-21 from the floor. He also grabbed six boards and dished out two dimes. He was everything the New York Knicks needed on a night they were attempting to put a halt to a miserable four-game losing streak.
He returned to form as the Knicks’ true superstar.
Speaking of young Porzingis, this is where it gets tricky. Make no doubt about it: Porzingis will eventually take over the crown as the guy at Madison Square Garden. Melo is already 31 and, as we know, father-time is undefeated.
But 20-years old is young. KP is in no position to lead any NBA team at such a raw age – regardless of how surprising and phenomenal he’s been up to this point.
For better or worse, Carmelo Anthony is the Knicks leading man. For how much longer? We don’t know. But for now, it’s No. 7 who has to score in droves and get the job done.
The Knicks return home to Madison Square Garden tonight as they’ll host top pick Karl-Anthony Towns and the extremely talented Minnesota Timberwolves.
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