Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Anthony: You haven't seen the best Melo
By Ian Begley
Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points against the Celtics on Tuesday night.
Bad news, Boston.
After scoring 70 points in the first two games of the Knicks-Celtics playoff series, this is how Carmelo Anthony summed up his performance:
"I have to make some shots. I’ve been missing some shots that I feel like I can make in both games, missing shots I normally make."
In other words, the Boston Celtics haven't seen the best of Carmelo Anthony yet.
And they are still down, 2-0.
Anthony led the New York Knicks to a Game 2 win by pouring in 34 points, 13 of which came in a pivotal third-quarter run.
In doing so, Anthony followed the same script that he established in Game 1: shrug off a so-so first half and find ways to score when the Knicks need it most.
After scoring 15 points on 3-for-11 shooting in the first half, Anthony hit five of his first six shots after halftime to help New York take control.
"We just had to find a rhythm, find some shots in the second half. In the third quarter, we came out very aggressive," Anthony said.
Anthony complemented the Knicks' effective defense with timely shooting. His 3-pointer and turnaround jumper on back-to-back possessions midway through the third quarter gave the Knicks an eight-point lead and seemed to shrink the C's.
"The playoffs aren't going to be perfect for any player," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "But he was still there making plays when we needed him to make them. He figures it out; the great ones do that."
Thanks in part to Anthony, the Knicks outscored Boston 32-11 in the third quarter. New York held the Celts to 4-for-18 shooting.
Anthony also continued to move the ball in the second half, something that has helped the Knicks knock out the Celtics in the first two games of the series.
He has just one assist in each game, but his pass often leads to the pass that leads to an open look for one of his teammates.
Case in point: Anthony has passed 17 more times in the second halves of the two games against Boston than he has in the first half, according to data compiled by ESPN Stats & Information. It's no surprise that the Knicks are outscoring the Celtics by 33 points in the second half of the series.
"I rely on my teammates more than a lot of people see," he said late Tuesday night. "I rely on teammates to pick me up offensively and defensively. That’s something we’ve been building on since training camp, trusting one another, believing in one another, and that’s what we’re doing right now."