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Carmelo Anthony Is The Most Overrated Player In The NBA

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They say in life to be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. After weeks of acting like a spoiled crybaby in the media, Carmelo Anthony got his wish and was dealt to the New York Knicks.

For any Sixers fans who dreaded the prospects of Anthony going to the Knicks, you had better hope he's on their team for years to carmelo anthonycome. Below I'll outline in full detail just why.

Since the New York Knicks traded for Anthony they are 7-11 and have now lost 5 straight games, thus falling to 7th in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, Denver is 11-4 since the trade.

Anthony has been an overrated player for quite some time. While he’s good for your fantasy basketball team, this is real life people. In the real world of the NBA, he’s a more athletic version of Glen Robinson.

With the exception of one year (thanks to Chauncey Billups), his teams have never gone far in the playoffs. And, he's not a leader.

Give me somebody like Dywane Wade, Tim Duncan, or Kobe Bryant any day over this so-called franchise player.

Since he helped Syracuse win a National Title in college, he’s been anything but a winner in the pros. Early on in his career he seemed to “get it,” but as the years have gone by he’s become the epitome of a me-first player, which was a detriment to the Denver Nuggets. And now the Knicks are seeing it.

In 2003-2004 the Nuggets went 43-39, in Anthony’s rookie season - a marked improvement from the year before he got there.

In 2004-2005 they won 49 games, definitely improving. Notice that Anthony only averaged 21 points per game and took an average of 16 shots per game. They made the playoffs this year, but it proved to be their first of many first round playoff exits when the Spurs knocked them off.

Things started to change the next season in 2005-2006. His head got bigger and he took more shots. He averaged 19.6 shots per game and scored 26 points per game, and the Nuggets only went 44-38 - winning five less games than the year before. This was also George Karl’s first year as coach. When the Nuggets hired Karl, it was probably the worst thing that could have happened to Anthony. Karl is one of the most overrated coaches in NBA history with a horrible defensive philosophy. He allowed gunners like Anthony and Iverson to just jack up shots, and for the second year in a row the Nuggets were one-and-done in the playoffs, losing to the Clippers.

I find it amusing after the fact that Karl is criticizing Anthony’s defense when he coached him in Denver for several years and allowed him to do whatever the hell he wanted! 

In 2006-2007, the second year of the George Karl regime, the Nuggets went 45-37 and averaged 105.4 points per game. And, Anthony got his shots.  He averaged 22.4 shots per game and scored nearly 29 points per game. He was every fantasy basketball player’s wet dream, but the Nuggets as a team yielded 103.7 points per game. This was also the year they traded for Allen Iverson, which pretty much doomed this team’s chances to go anywhere in the playoffs. They were one-and-done and got bounced in the first round of the 2007 playoffs by San Antonio once again.

Turn to 2007-2008 and the high-scoring Nuggets won 50 games. It appeared that Karl found a way to get Anthony and Allen Iverson to co-exist for a season. They finished second in the NBA, by scoring 110 points per game, but yielded 107 points per game. But, Melo and Iverson got their shots. Each jacked up 19 shots per game and averaged a nearly identical 26.4 and 25.7 points per game respectively.

However, having two me-first players and a coach with no defensive philosophy delivered fool’s gold in the end to to the city of Denver. At this point, Denver should have changed it’s name from the Nuggets to fool’s gold. The Nuggets went up against the Lakers in the first round of the 2008 playoffs and were promptly swept in four games. That’s what happens when you don’t play a lick of defense. For the fourth year in a row, the Nuggets were one-and-done in the playoffs.

In 2008-2009, it was clear that Allen Iverson and Anthony couldn’t co-exist any longer. Iverson was traded after 3 games! In came Chauncey Billups, who was the best thing to ever happen to Anthony. Billups came from a Detroit Pistons team which stressed team play and defense. The Nuggets improved to 54-28, averaged 104.3 points per game and their defense (while not great) improved to 18th in the NBA. They only yielded 100.9 points per game - their best average under George Karl. Take notice that Anthony didn’t jack up over 20 shots per game. His points per game average was just 22.3 points per game, and he took 18 shots per game. Is it a coincidence that Denver had their best record during Anthony’s career this year?

In the 2009 NBA Playoffs, the Nuggets had their only true playoff success under Karl and with Anthony. They beat the Hornets in the first round and the Mavericks in the second round to face the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. They took the Lakers to 6 games, but eventually L.A.’s defense prevailed. They don't hand out MVP awards for what you do in the postseason, but if they did Chauncey Billups would have been the choice - by elevating Denver into a viable playoff team.

In 2009-2010, Anthony started to get his shots again. He jacked up 21.8 shots per game, averaged 28.2 points per game and their defense suffered. They gave up 102 points per game. The Nuggets went 53-29, but got knocked out of the first round by the Utah Jazz. After peaking in 2008-2009, this was as far as the Nuggets could get with their so-called franchise player.

After a few months of the Anthony trade talk saga, he was traded to the New York Knicks. Since Anthony’s arrival to The Big Apple, the Knicks have regressed considerably. The honeymoon was short-lived after going 6-3 following the trade. Since then, they have gone 1-8 and allowed 106.5 points per game. Things are so bad that they allowed the mediocre Tyler Hansbrough to put up 29 and 30 points in consecutive nights in losses to the Pacers.

For all of the Knicks fans who were begging for Anthony to grace the courts at Madison Square Garden you got your wish.

But, be careful what you wish for, because now you got it. Expect poor defense, first-round playoff exits and plenty of finger-pointing.

History and numbers don’t lie. Anthony puts up scoring numbers, which are hollow at best. He might score 30 points, but he’ll surrender 35 points to whoever he’s defending. In the end, this results in the entire team going fishing after the first round of the playoffs.

And, the Knicks will soon become another one-and-done playoff team, if they make the playoffs with Carmelo Anthony.

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com

Photo of Carmelo Anthony from freshandsavvy.com

For other hot stories on Philly2Philly.com check out the story on Deion Sanders who gave up mentoring Dez Bryant

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