BOSTON — New York Knicks fans who are vilifying Carmelo Anthony for taking 35 shots yesterday should back off.
The ones criticizing him for taking an ungodly 42 shots (seven times he was fouled while shooting) can continue to emasculate him.
The Knicks gunner made just 10 of those official 35 attempts, enabling the Celtics to salvage some dignity. Boston won its first game of the series 97-90 in overtime yesterday afternoon at the TD Garden. New York can finish the best-of-7 first-round series with a win in Game 5 Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
With NBA 6th Man of the Year J.R. Smith suspended for the game for elbowing Jason Terry in the face in Game 3, you knew Melo was going to be jacking them up at a record pace.
But this was ridiculous. If he were playing for the Washington Nationals, they would have shut him down for the year to save his shooting elbow.
Postgame group press conferences tend to be a cliche fest. And the Celtics Jeff Green is particularly bland. But he let this gem slip out about Melo.
“He’s going to take wild shots,” said the former Georgetown All-American (2007) about the former Syracuse All-American (2003).
The Knicks will probably win Game 5 and Anthony will probably score 35 points, but once they face the iron, Melo and Co. aren’t going anywhere.
The NBA scoring king is too selfish and too one-dimensional. How else do you explain somebody who in one game of a series hoists 42 shots in 45 minutes and in the previous game had one rebound (that’s not easy to do at 6-8, 230) and zero assists in 37 minutes.
Give him credit, it’s not easy to win a scoring title (28.7 points a game this season) and to carry a team to a 54-28 season. But the postseason is when greatness is established. Anthony, who will turn 29 a month from today, always has fallen flat. His Denver and New York teams have won just 2 of 11 playoff series.