Cementing His Place in History? Melo with 62
Posted on January 26, 2014
The King of the Garden (Sorry Bernard) has set his place in history. Carmelo Anthony had a historic game on Friday, dropping 62 points against the Charlotte Bobcats and tacking in the most points scored by one player in New York’s historic Madison Square Garden. Although far from the top of great scoring performances like Wilt, Jordan, and even Kobe, Carmelo has finally set in stone a jaw dropping scoring game.
Now I know, the Charlotte Bobcats? Some couch fans may argue they could put up that much on a franchise who has not been able to put up many wins the past half decade it seems. But Charlotte currently sits 6th in the NBA for points allowed this season with 97.3. This average is sure to drop after Carmelo’s performance, but we have to give the scoring machine some credit for putting up these kind of numbers on the 6th ranked scoring stoppers in the league.
Although Carmelo is ringless, and many other criticisms I’m sure we can come up with, has this performance bested today’s current great scorers. Can we put him in the same discussion that only a year ago would have been fine, but since underperforming perception in NY has changed our image of the scorer?
Let’s look at arguably the league’s best scorers in the game; Durant,LeBron and Melo. Curry could now be put into this equation, Kobe of course is one of the greatest scorers of all time, but Melo, Durant and LeBron came into the league at around the same time. So for historic reasons, let’s keep this simple.
Durant has only tacked in a career-high 54 points while Lebron James only bested Durant by 2 with a 56 point performance. Melo now has the lead on that statistic with 62.
Career points per game in a regular season goes to LeBron with 27.6. This, amazingly, probably teeters game by game with Durant having 27.0. Melo sits 3rd in the trio with 25 .
Where it matters, the postseason, Durant takes the top spot with 28.6 points per game. The King with the rings, LeBron, takes 2nd with 28.1 while Melo sits at the bottom with 25.7.
Melo wins the most in a game, LeBron takes the top spot in regular season ppg and Durant leads in postseason ppg. So which who is the best? Do LeBron’s rings trump this all? The fact that Durant has made it to a finals make him better than Melo? Or does the constant scoring threat that is Carmelo Anthony make him the best with his top performance the other night?
I think that what we are missing is the fact that we need to stop constantly comparing these athletes to find who is the best. I grew up watching Michael Jordan being the best. And for a very long time I was convinced this was the case, he was the greatest of all time, never to be rivaled. And then Kobe came, and I started to become confused.Now it is Kobe vs. MJ for the top spot. Of course the basketball gods didn’t stop there, they brought us LeBron to further confuse us as fans. So who is the best?
Instead of finding a best, let’s enjoy the talent and athleticism of these athletes. While I believe in competition, I also believe in enjoying the game of basketball. LeBron is pure power, driving through the lane and dominating from the mid range. Durant is the lankiest high level athlete I have ever seen but the way he finishes and creates scoring opportunities is remarkable. Carmelo can bang in the post or light you up from three. Who cares who is the best? As fans we should thank the basketball gods for allowing us to witness the trio. When two of the three play each other it is a thing of beauty.
We compare these players, looking for every way to prove our opinion of who is better. In the same way that Bird, Magic and Jordan were probably compared, we still find the need to spend wasted hours comparing three uncomparable athletes. While many compare, I sit and watch, enjoying the opportunity to watch three of the greatest scorers of our time, and maybe eventually of all time, play some of the best basketball we have seen in our time. 62 points vs 54 points? Who cares? We get to watch both.