Knicks Enjoying a Career Year from Melo

Over at Hoopsworld, Tommy Beer has a nice piece about the improvements in Carmelo Anthony’s game this year. The bottom line is that by any metric, the Knicks are getting a career-year out of the perennial scoring machine:

Nearly every metric imaginable supports the suggestion that Anthony is reaching previously unattained heights. He is posting a career-high 26.7 PER; he’s never finished a season above 22.3. His true shooting percentage has hovered around 60 percent all year; his previous career best was 56.8 percent. His effective field goal percentage currently sits above 54 percent; his high as a Nugget was 51.1 percent.

Moreover, Carmelo is also taking better care of the ball, averaging a career-low 2.5 turnover per game. Yes, Anthony is currently scoring more than he ever has (29.3 ppg) while also committing fewer turnovers. That’s obviously an ideal combination.

Brian DiMenna

Beer credits a lot of this evolution to the switch to power forward, which has allowed Anthony to take advantage of mismatches and cut down on the need for long-distance jumpers. It’s been well documented that Anthony has traded in a lot of his mid-range jumpers for three-pointers, while also shooting a career-high from beyond the arc, which is basically like taking something great and then covering it in awesome sauce, or maybe A-1.

Still, I’d be interested to hear how Anthony himself interprets this. Is it a matter of finding the right circumstance and supporting cast, a natural evolution from a maturing player, or a conscious change of approach? I don’t really know.

There’s no doubt that both the eyes and the evidence suggest we’re seeing the best Carmelo we’ve ever seen — and we’ve seen some pretty great Carmelos — but there’s also a part of me that still wonders how much of what we’re seeing is something new, or rather a great player finding a great situation among a supporting cast that compliments his skills that is allowing all of us to fully appreciate an array of gifts that have pretty much always been on display.

I don’t totally have an answer to that, though I suspect there’s an element of both, which, yes, is a copout, but still also very likely the truth.

Follow Brian on Twitter