Carmelo Anthony is on Fire
By Brian Martin
Less than 24 hours after equaling his career-high with 50 points against the Miami Heat, Carmelo Anthony dropped 40 points on the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, to lead the New York Knicks to their 10th straight win.
That's 90 points in just over 25 hours, on the road, in two different states. It doesn't matter where the bucket is at this point, Carmelo Anthony is going to score on it.
Anthony has been incredibly efficient over these past two games, scoring his 90 points on just 53 shots. He is shooting 66 percent from the field (35-of-53) and slightly better from 3-point range, where he's hit 8-of-12 for 66.7 percent. Add in 12 free throws in 14 attempts (85.7 percent) and you've found a recipe for being on fire.
Carmelo Anthony - Last 2 Games
Advanced Metrics - Last 2 Games
Over the past two games, Anthony has been a great combination of high usage (37.9% usage rate) and high efficiency (73.6% effective field goal percentage). The result is the Knicks outscoring opponents by 14.6 points per 100 possessions with Anthony on the floor.
It began on Tuesday night at 8:00 PM ET in Miami as the Knicks squared off against a depleted Heat squad that was playing without LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers for the second straight game. Anthony took advantage of their absence by matching his career-best 50 points -- his first 50 point game as a Knick and the third of his career.
He became just the third player to go for 50 in a game this season, joining Kevin Durant (52 at Dallas) and Stephen Curry (54 at New York), with all three performances coming on the road.
On Tuesday, Anthony showed off his perimeter and mid-range game. He hit 7-of-10 on 3-pointers and did not attempt a shot within the paint or the middle of the floor at all (see shot chart on right).
Carmelo Anthony Shooting vs Miami (4/2/2013)
|In The Paint||0||0||-|
|Left Corner 3||0||0||-|
|Right Corner 3||2||3||66.7%|
|Above Break 3||5||7||71.4%|
On Wednesday, he diversified his attack, scoring from all over the court -- layups, shots in the paint, mid-range jumpers and just a single 3-pointer after hitting seven the night before.
When the game finished just before 9:30 PM ET, Anthony had posted his seventh 40-point game of the season, tying Kobe Bryant for most in the NBA this year.
Carmelo Anthony Shooting vs Atlanta (4/3/2013)
|In The Paint||2||2||100.0%|
|Left Corner 3||0||0||-|
|Right Corner 3||0||0||-|
|Above Break 3||1||2||50.0%|
So much for the lost art of the mid-range jumper. In addition to shooting over 66 percent from 3-point range over the past two games, Anthony has hit 21-of-33 (63.6%) on mid-range shots. Both of those percentages are up dramatically from Anthony's season averages of 38.7 percent (3-point) and 43.9 percent (mid-range).
While the improvement from the 3-point line is greater, the mid-range increase has been more important to this run since Anthony has attempted 33 shots and scored 42 points from the mid-range compared to 12 shots and 24 points from beyond the arc.
Carmelo Anthony Shooting -- 2012-13 Season
|In The Paint||27||62||43.5%|
|Left Corner 3||6||27||22.2%|
|Right Corner 3||9||24||37.5%|
|Above Break 3||129||328||39.3%|
On the season, Anthony leads the league in first-quarter scoring with an average of nine points in the opening period each game. That trend has magnified during this scoring outburst, as Anthony scored 17 points in the first quarter against the Heat on Tuesday and 13 points in the first 12 minutes against the Hawks on Wednesday.
Carmelo Anthony Scoring By Quarter -- 2012-13 Season
The Knicks head back to New York, where they will try to extend their winning streak to 11 games against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. After scoring 90 points over the past two days, Anthony and the Knicks will have a day off tomorrow before they square off with the Bucks. Will that time cool Anthony off, or will it allow him to rest and get ready to put on another scoring showcase -- this time in front of the hometown fans?