Anthony Hits for Record- Breaking 62 Points But That Doesn’t Change Knicks Long-Term Strategy

Published on: 25th January, 2014

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Melo breaks record
Anthony Hits for Record- Breaking 62 Points But That Doesn't Change Knicks Long-Term Strategy  | read this item

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New York — It was a history-making night at Madison Square Garden tonight as Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks leading scorer and their best trade chip lit up the scoreboard with 62 points against the the hapless Charlotte Bobcats, leading the home team to a 125-96 win.

“I made history tonight, with the performance, but just to be a part of that group of people, like I said, there’s only a small group of people that knows what that zone feels like and tonight I was one of them,” Anthony said.

It was easily the highlight of the season for Anthony, on pace to miss the playoffs for the first time in his career and part of an ongoing discussion of whether the Knicks should trade him by the NBA’s February 20th trading deadline.  It was an exciting night for the Knicks players and their fans but it doesn’t change what the Knicks strategy should be in rebuilding their faltering team.

But, for this one night, the focus shall remain on Anthony’s amazing scoring.

Melo broke record on this shot

Melo broke record on this shot

He easily passed his previous career best of 50 points and possibly could have even passed 70 or more had the game been close. Instead, he checked out for good after breaking the records when he banked in a short jumper with 7:24 to play.

“I’ve seen him score a lot of points, but that was some performance right there,” said J.R. Smith, who was also a teammate of Anthony’s in Denver.

Smith noticed a different focus from Anthony before the game, a seriousness replacing the usual laughter. Perhaps some of it was some added pregame motivation after the team watched a video featuring Muhammad Ali, one of Anthony’s favorite athletes.

With the Knicks desperately thin in the frontcourt after losing Andrea Bargnani on top of the injuries to Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin, Anthony simply took on more of the scoring load as New York won for the first time on its eight-game homestand after dropping the first three.

King, elected to the Hall of Fame last year, said he was proud of Anthony, who he considers one of the best players in the game.

“If anyone was to break my Knicks record that I have held for so long, I’m absolutely delighted that it was Carmelo,” King said through the team’s public relations department.

But the Knicks, who had lost to the Bobcats 10 days ago to start their current skid, shot 56 percent. So what happened to Charlotte’s defense?

“Melo. Enough said,” Jefferson said.

Fans chanted “Melo! Melo!” when the Knicks had the ball in the second half, as if they were calling a play. That was replaced by “We Want Melo! We want Melo!” after he checked out.

The cheering certainly sounded better in this building than the recent “Fire Woodson” chants that have been raining down from the rafters for most of this season.

Anthony made 20 of his first 26 shots against what had been a good defensive team, but there was no defense for the zone Anthony was in.

“When he’s in one of those zones, ain’t nothing nobody can do about it,” Jefferson added.

Last season’s scoring champion had eight points in the first 2½ minutes, went 8 of 10 in the first quarter and had 20 points as the Knicks led 30-21. He skipped his usual break and kept playing deep into the second quarter before finally taking a seat with 4:34 left, shortly after missing an open jumper.

He returned with 2½ minutes left to finish the half in style, throwing in a buzzer beater from just inside halfcourt to cap his 15-of-21 half and make it 67-46, Stoudemire laughing hysterically on the bench in his brown suit jacket and the rest of the players leaping in celebration.

“Just to see everybody smiling once again, that’s what I was more excited to see,” Anthony said. “Guys on the bench smiling, high-fiving, having fun once again, that’s the only thing I care about.”

Turned out Anthony was just getting started.

He made his first five shots in the second half and the Bobcats would eventually grow frustrated, picking up two technical fouls on one play after Anthony’s 3-pointer late in the third.

He made both free throws, part of his 10-for-10 showing at the line, and said he tried to check himself out earlier but his teammates wouldn’t allow it.

 

 

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