As we inch closer to the start of training camp, several projections and lists will make their way to the internet and one such list is the top-100 players in the NBA compiled by Sports Illustrated. New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony comes in at No. 10.
Other Knicks on the list include: Amar'e Stoudemire (85), J.R. Smith (83) and Tyson Chandler (27).
The list has actually caused quite a stir, with Kevin Durant publicly claiming that Heat guard Dwyane Wade (No.8) should be replaced by James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Wade and Durant have since traded barbs with each other over Twitter.
However, getting back to Anthony. We all know that Anthony is the lifeblood of the Knicks franchise. The Knicks will continue to sink or swim on the success of Anthony. As one of the preeminent scorers in the league, Anthony is a pure joy to watch.
As you all know, Anthony is as gifted as there is in the game offensively—perhaps unrivaled by no one else in the league.
Anthony, then, is more or less the same player that he’s been for the last half-decade. He shoots a lot, scores a lot, makes baskets in many different ways and from many different locations, draws lots of fouls and defensive attention, and he rebounds well for his position. He isn’t exactly in James’ class when it comes to lockdown defense on opposing wings and he’s definitely no Rajon Rondo when it comes to sharing the rock.
When it comes to Anthony, it all comes back to defense and being a complete player. Not to mention, after all the personal accolades Anthony has achieved over the years, Anthony is still lacking a championship ring to validate his greatness.
Even those who wish Anthony would be a little less single-minded on offense, a little more selective with his shots, and way more committed on defense can acknowledge that he’s an overall offensive powerhouse capable of serving as the No. 1 guy on a championship contender, assuming the right mix is in place around him. Will Anthony ever find that right mix, or will James continue to lord over him like Michael Jordan did to so many of his talented contemporaries?
So there you have it. Anthony is elite, but not ultra-elite. That will be the case until Anthony wins a title.
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