During the course of the offseason, Buckets Over Broadway will be releasing a long series of reviews and analyses of the major New York Knicks’ players from this past season. First up is Carmelo Anthony.
Perhaps the scariest notion of this New York Knicks’ offseason is that it could be the last we fans see of Carmelo Anthony. Not, like, forever, but it has the potential to have been his last season in Knicks orange and blue. Anthony heads into this summer with the ability to opt out of his contract and become a free agent, which is a path he’s strongly suggested he will take. Management and fans (largely) hope he will return to the Knicks next season and beyond, but if he doesn’t, we may have just witnessed ‘Melo’s best personal year in the midst of a wasted season.
Once again the main feature of the New York Knicks’ offense, Anthony cruised to perhaps his most dynamic offensive season of his career. As he split time between small forward and power forward, ‘Melo averaged 27.4 points per game, 45.2% FG, 40.2% 3FG, and 84.8% FT while also dishing out 3.1 assists per game. Impressive baseline stats, certainly, and his points per game average actually trickled down from the 28-29 range because of a weak April. Nonetheless, Anthony was the only player in the league to shoot better than 40% from three-point range while scoring over 25 points per game, according to NBA.com/Stats.
The advanced stats tell a similar tale of ‘Melo’s effectiveness. Anthony’s 56.1% True Shooting was the best of his Knicks career and the third best of his overall career. Additionally, his 50.3% eFG was the second best of his career. These high advanced field goal numbers reflect Anthony’s more disciplined, efficient approach to offense this season. According to Synergy Sports, Anthony’s second most common play on offense (behind isolations) was the post-up, in which he averaged 1.02 points per possession and 49.9% FG, good for 18th best in the league. He also took spot-up jumpers nearly 14% of the time, in which he canned 44% of those opportunities from downtown.
All of this is to say that Anthony was invaluable to the Knicks’ offense. Without Anthony on the floor, the Knicks’ offensive rating fell to 101.3 from 106.8, which is the largest drop-off of any Knick. Through his time in New York, ‘Melo has slowly learned a more efficient offensive game, and we may have just witnessed his best overall season of his career.