AP Photo/Charles KrupaCarmelo Anthony is all wrapped up in the USA's gold-medal victory.The headlines on Sunday belong to Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant -- and deservedly so.
But Carmelo Anthony's role in Team USA winning its second consecutive gold medal shouldn't be ignored.
Even with an uneven performance against Spain (eight points, 3-for-9 shooting), Anthony was Team USA's second-best scorer, averaging 16.3 points per game off of the bench.
And he did his damage with an incredible efficiency.
Prior to the United States' 107-100 win in the gold-medal game, Anthony had averaged a little over 48 points per 48 minutes, including an astounding eight 3-pointers per 48.
He finished the tournament shooting a blistering 53.5% from the field and hit half of his 46 3-point attempts.
Anthony set the U.S. Olympic single-game scoring record with 37 points against Nigeria on Aug. 2. And he only needed 14 minutes to do so.
That game capped a two-game stretch in which Anthony scored an eye-popping 53 points in just 26 minutes.
The next question for Knicks fans, of course, is this: How does Anthony's Olympic success translate to the 2012-13 NBA season?
Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who served as an analyst for NBC during the Olympics, said the oft-criticized Anthony can benefit from his big summer in London.
"It gives guys who have struggled a chance to get it back," Rivers said when speaking about Anthony. "And they have."
We'll have to wait a couple of months to see how this all plays out on the NBA hardwood. And, of course, it's unrealistic to expect Anthony to replicate his Olympic numbers with the Knicks. The level of competition is drastically different in the NBA.
But if Anthony can play in Orange and Blue with anywhere near the efficiency he showed in Red, White and Blue, the Knicks should be in good shape.
Another good sign for the Knicks?
After winning his second goal, Anthony talked about the lone thing missing from his resume -- an NBA title.
“It’s the one thing that’s missing is the NBA championship,’’ Anthony said, according to the New York Post. “I had a chance to win in high school, college, now two gold medals. My next goal is try to win a championship.’’
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