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13 hours ago, DonRocks said:

There has always been something bothering me about the anti-Anthony sentiment here, and I think it's entirely related to the statistics up above. If someone can explain how these alone don't make Anthony a legitimate superstar, please do. Add the Syracuse NCAA Championship Anthony's first-and-only year in college, and the Oak Hill High School win over (a LeBron James-led) SVSM for a theoretical national championship, and you have a first-ballot Hall of Fame player who played at the absolute top level for 12 years.

Don:  It’s obvious via repetition.  I really don’t like his game.  

Carmelo Anthony will undoubtedly go into the NBA HOF.  He is an all-time great scorer with both a high career total and a high pts/game average over his career.  No doubt.

I didn’t realize Denver was that bad for that long before Anthony joined them.  Pretty pathetic.  For several years before he joined them Denver picked up a rising star (Anthony Mcdyess) and was improving till he was injured the season before Anthony was drafted— (the season Denver was horrible and obtained the high draft choice for Carmelo).  I suspect Anthony joined a “better team” with better players and system.   I have  a hard time accepting Carmelo as the sole reason the team went from losing to winning.   The Nuggets also traded for Andre Miller, one of the better point guards, added a young Nene and had Marcus Camby, one of the better defensive centers.   I suspect there were more reasons than just Anthony for that improvement.

Actually Carmelo might be a “better” second star.  Denver’s best year’s occurred when they had Chauncey Billups following his Detroit days.  

Mostly I dislike Carmelo’s selfish/ugly game.  He has a long career as a ball hog. It’s well documented in countless videos.  Besides scoring he is probably mediocre at most other skills and his defense at best was mediocre and has trended downward.

He demanded a trade to the big city and with it a salary that was too high for his value.  The Knicks couldn’t add other stars.   When the Knicks turned bad, when Carmelo was injured and all of a sudden they were winning with “Linsanity” Carmelo forced out the coach and returned their style to Carmelo ball- which had become a losing proposition.

In playoffs his teams won only  3 series with many losses in the first round.   In each division 8 of 15 teams make the playoffs;  more than half.   That is above average mediocrity not winning excellence.  The best year in the playoffs they had Chauncey Billups.

Of all players to be celebrated I think he is a bad example;  a one dimensional player with great scoring ability, a resoundingly selfish ugly game, and someone who may well have been too stubborn to enlarge his game and enhance his teams’ opportunities to win.

OTOH He has matured over the years and is a likable articulate human.

He should have been a mesh guy with other stars.   He would have won more and if he properly meshed his game would have been less ugly.

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11 hours ago, DaveO said:

Don:  It’s obvious via repetition.  I really don’t like his game.  

I honestly didn't write that because of you; I wrote it because after all this criticism, including some of my own, I was looking at those stats, and no matter how much I tried, I couldn't reconcile them with anything but being a great basketball player. Nothing more than that.

I do think Anthony's best days are long behind him. He went for the big bucks, got them (right around the time his decline began - I suspect he "knew" things the teams didn't, either consciously or sub-consciously), and who can blame him for nabbing $124 million? In 2014, the Knicks obviously thought he was worth a tremendous amount of financial risk.

Jalen Rose says here that Anthony failed to reinvent himself - and, you can make a case for his slow, one-dimensional, 2-point, mid-range game no longer being meta-relevant in the NBA. 

However ... I mentioned the turnaround in Denver's record pre- and post-Anthony; I never mentioned the Knicks' turnaround pre- and post-Anthony:

The 8 years before the Knicks traded for Anthony, their winning percentage was .378, with an average season of 35-57, and a *best* season of 39-43 (which was their only playoff appearance during those 8 years).

The season they traded for Anthony (mid-year), and the two seasons after that, that winning percentage shot up to .573, making the playoffs all 3 years, and one season going 54-28, and making the Eastern Conference semifinals in the playoffs even though Anthony played with a torn shoulder  (this was the year Anthony won the NBA Scoring Championship) - this is almost as dramatic as what happened in Denver.

The year after that, Anthony fought shoulder problems (on his shooting side) the entire season, but led the NBA in minutes played, and had a career high in rebounds.

The year after that, Anthony played only half a season due to a knee injury, the Knicks, with Anthony hobbling through the first half of the season, fell to 17-65 (!), and that was the point when Anthony's career began its inevitable decline: There's a clear decrease in production beginning with that 2014-2015 season.

Thinking back, I really don't remember Anthony's game before 2014, but he was obviously doing something right: 10 straight years of playoffs in Denver after 8 straight years of no playoffs. 3 straight years of playoffs in New York after 6 straight years of no playoffs. After the all-star game in 2014-2015 - which New York hosted, and which was essentially the final game of Anthony's career - all bets were off.

Jalen Rose says that Anthony failed to reinvent himself; I propose that he was unable to due to age and injuries, and that people need to begin looking back at Anthony's career as a whole; and not just focus on these past 4-5 years.

OKC and HOU is garbage time for Anthony - look at, not just his PPG these past two years, but his Free-Throw Percentage: These two seasons have been the worst of his career, and if he can't even shoot free throws, he's just worn out physically, and probably mentally as well. I was thinking that his leaving the Knicks would result in some type of "test" of his game; I neglected to consider that he was just, plain, done.

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On 2/16/2016 at 4:50 PM, DonRocks said:

The 8 seasons before drafting Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets:

* never made the playoffs

* never finished above .500

* averaged 25 wins per season

* won a total of 63 games - combined - in 4 of those seasons

* were tied for the 4th-worst record in NBA history one season, going 11-71

The 10 seasons after drafting Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets:

* made the playoffs every year (yes, 10 seasons in a row)

* never finished below .524

* averaged 48.3 wins per season

Don:   There was "something" that bothered me in this analysis.   On a general basis I never saw Carmelo described as the "team changer".  Others yes.  Carmelo no.  

It took a good bit of research about the Nuggets to pull up all the details:

Some review:

As noted in his first year Denver made the playoffs and had a magnificent improvement from the previous year:  from 17-65 to 43-39.   And they made the playoffs.  It was accomplished in the Western Conference, the tougher conference--wherein the majority of their games were played against the better 1/2 of teams in the league.  IMPRESSIVE

Compare them to Cleveland that drafted Lebron James in the same year.  Cleveland had a significant improvement in their team.  The year before they were as miserable as Denver with a 17-65 record (in the weaker division) and improved in their first year with James to 35-47 and didn't make the playoffs (in the weaker division).

Anthony scored more points, gathered more rebounds, played in more games during the season and led his team to a better record than did James (In a tougher division!!!)  Yet James won the Rookie of the Year award over Anthony.  Those who voted that year serve as a clue to whether Anthony "carried" the team or not.

I went back through the data.  I watched so much basketball in those days, but my memories are weak and I clearly didn't watch Denver much.  But the data shows something interesting:

The '03-'04 Denver Nuggets were Completely different at every position than the '02-'03 Nuggets.  That is unusual.  Every position.  There was one carryover guy who was primarily a starter in both seasons--but his position switched, Nene Hillario from Center to Power Forward in '03-'04.  But essentially the team was 100% different at every position during the bulk of the season.  Good teams don't turn over much.  Bad teams can and should turn over a lot--but 100% on the starting five...I think that is unusual.

Camby started at Center for the bulk of the year.  The previous year he was injured and out for the majority of the season.  Nene moved from Center to power forward and played that position for the bulk of his time.  Anthony of course was the starting small forward and hadn't been there the year before.    The guard positions completely changed in the 2 seasons.  Andre Miller was picked up as a free agent.  He was relatively young, established as one of the better (if not all-star quality) point guards.  He was new to the team in '03-'04.   Additionally in later years Miller was essentially traded for Alan Iverson, who was later traded for Chauncey Billups.  Picking up Miller in '03-'04 translated into the Nuggets having potent point guard play during Anthony's entire stretch during his stay in Denver.  (when Anthony forced the trade to the Knicks Chauncey Billups went with him).  Lastly the Nuggets had completely different shooting guards with Voshon Leonard and Earl Boykins backing up both Leonard and Miller.  None of the Nuggets guards had been on the '02-'03 team.

(btw I used basketball-reference.com for all this detail)

Then you look at one of the advanced metrics for basketball, win shares.  In that first year several of Carmelo's co starters had higher Win Shares than Carmelo.  You go through other advanced metrics and it points to the fact that a host of teammates contributed to that big change in record.  Obviously the scorer was Carmelo.  But there is a lot more to the game...and during the years Carmelo was at Denver he received a lot of help in pushing the Nuggets to a positive record.  

The point is simply that the enormous gains by Denver in '03-'04 were not recognized at that time and subsequent research suggests that he was not the single person responsible for the improvement.   Undoubtedly though, with that improvement--Carmelo Anthony was the scorer.

What about the Knicks?

The above research frankly took too much time and I won't replicate it for the Knicks.  Suffice it to say Carmelo Anthony, an aging Chauncey Billups both joined still tremendously potent new Knick Amare Stoudemire.  Stoudemire and Anthony were a high scoring potent offense.  They were later joined by true big Center Tyson Chandler, who was in the midst of his best years.   With those players the Knicks turned potent, got into the playoffs and even won one round.   

Again, I don't recall "experts" giving all the credit to Carmelo Anthony, and I don't recall seeing him as an entire franchise changer.

Actually, being a franchise changer is one of the rarest of qualities;  hundreds of noted scorers, rebounders, etc.  but few get identified as franchise changers.

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On 11/16/2018 at 5:10 PM, DaveO said:

I went back through the data.  I watched so much basketball in those days, but my memories are weak and I clearly didn't watch Denver much.  But the data shows something interesting:

The '03-'04 Denver Nuggets were Completely different at every position than the '02-'03 Nuggets.  That is unusual.  Every position.  There was one carryover guy who was primarily a starter in both seasons--but his position switched, Nene Hillario from Center to Power Forward in '03-'04.  But essentially the team was 100% different at every position during the bulk of the season.  Good teams don't turn over much.  Bad teams can and should turn over a lot--but 100% on the starting five...I think that is unusual.

Camby started at Center for the bulk of the year.  The previous year he was injured and out for the majority of the season.  Nene moved from Center to power forward and played that position for the bulk of his time.  Anthony of course was the starting small forward and hadn't been there the year before.    The guard positions completely changed in the 2 seasons.  Andre Miller was picked up as a free agent.  He was relatively young, established as one of the better (if not all-star quality) point guards.  He was new to the team in '03-'04.   Additionally in later years Miller was essentially traded for Alan Iverson, who was later traded for Chauncey Billups.  Picking up Miller in '03-'04 translated into the Nuggets having potent point guard play during Anthony's entire stretch during his stay in Denver.  (when Anthony forced the trade to the Knicks Chauncey Billups went with him).  Lastly the Nuggets had completely different shooting guards with Voshon Leonard and Earl Boykins backing up both Leonard and Miller.  None of the Nuggets guards had been on the '02-'03 team.

(btw I used basketball-reference.com for all this detail)

Then you look at one of the advanced metrics for basketball, win shares.  In that first year several of Carmelo's co starters had higher Win Shares than Carmelo.  You go through other advanced metrics and it points to the fact that a host of teammates contributed to that big change in record.  Obviously the scorer was Carmelo.  But there is a lot more to the game...and during the years Carmelo was at Denver he received a lot of help in pushing the Nuggets to a positive record.  

The point is simply that the enormous gains by Denver in '03-'04 were not recognized at that time and subsequent research suggests that he was not the single person responsible for the improvement.   Undoubtedly though, with that improvement--Carmelo Anthony was the scorer.

Since my early memories of Anthony are also weak (read: non-existent), I looked back at what some of the locals / experts had to say at the time:

---

A couple of years after he was drafted by the Nuggets:

Oct 28, 2005 - "Anthony Wins Big On, Off Court" by Marc J. Spears on denverpost.com

"It is far from a surprise that the Nuggets picked up the option for the 2006-07 season on Carmelo Anthony’s contract Friday ... The third pick in the 2003 draft, who averaged 20.9 points and 5.9 rebounds during his first two seasons, will receive $4.67 million in the 2006-07 season. Anthony finished second in the 2004 rookie of the year balloting to Cleveland’s LeBron James and was Most Valuable Player of the 2005 Rookie Challenge."

"Said Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe: “He’s a very, very important part of whatever we do. We want Melo with us for a long time.”

---

In the second half of his Nuggets' career:

May 21, 2008 - "Nuggets Best Move: Keep Anthony, A.I." by Terry Frei on denverpost.com

"Anthony’s awe-inspiring scoring ability and agility, plus his high “Q” rating and popularity in such places as the NBA Store on New York’s Fifth Avenue, still turn heads."

---

When the Nuggets announced the trade to the Knicks:

Feb 21, 2011 - "Carmelo Anthony Taking His Star-Studded Appeal, Game to the Knicks" by Christopher Dempsey on denverpost.com

"Carmelo Anthony instantly changed the Nuggets’ fortunes upon his arrival in 2003. As he leaves Denver for the New York Knicks, he is changing the team’s fortunes again, but with the haul the Nuggets got in return, Denver may have an opportunity to rebound in short order."

"Nuggets fans can only hope the franchise doesn’t sink to the level it was at when Melo dropped into their lap with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2003 draft.

The Nuggets won just 17 games in the season prior to Melo’s arrival. With Melo, the Nuggets won no fewer than 43 games and made the playoffs every season."

Anthony brought star power, street cred, the Jordan brand and a sweet stroke.

To many, he is the greatest player in Nuggets’ history."

---


In the early part of his Knicks' career:

Apr 5, 2013 - "Knicks Win 11th Straight as Anthony Hits 40 Again" by Scott Cacciola on nytimes.com

"In his last three games, Anthony has averaged 43.7 points on 64.2 percent shooting. His effort against the Bucks was punctuated by “M.V.P.” chants from the fans.

“Melo is playing out of his mind,” said Jennings, who had 25 points for Milwaukee.

The Knicks did most of their damage in the third quarter, when they outscored the Bucks by 42-21. Anthony had 10 points in a 25-2 run that gave the Knicks the lead for good, and he scored in every conceivable way: 3-pointers, turnaround jumpers, running floaters.

“He’s trying to do a little bit of everything,” Knicks Coach Mike Woodson said, “and that’s what the great ones do.”

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