x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Carmelo Anthony must be lonley as the one man in Knicks’ one-man show

Most of the New York roster is one-dimensional at best

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is the lone bright spot for his team in an otherwise disappointing season. Jason Szenes/ EPA
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is the lone bright spot for his team in an otherwise disappointing season. Jason Szenes/ EPA

It is a remarkable testament to how very bad the rest of the New York Knicks are that they can be just 17-27 while Carmelo Anthony is playing as well as he is.

On Friday, he scored 62 points in New York’s 125-96 win over Charlotte, breaking the record for most points at the hallowed basketball grounds of Madison Square Garden.

It was just the latest eye-popping feat from the one man on a one-man team.

Melo is the league’s second-leading scorer, dropping 27 points per game and trailing only Kevin Durant. He’s done this in part by posting the best three-point (42.0) and free-throw (85.3) percentages of his career.

He is playing the most minutes in the league, at 39.2 a game, doing everything in his physical power to carry the Knicks to competency.

But it’s just not happening.

With the exception of Tyson Chandler, who has been hurt for about half the season, and Tim Hardaway Jr, who is having a nice season as a rookie reserve, just about everyone on New York isn’t any good.

Andrea Bargnani is a passable offensive player who cannot play defence. JR Smith, Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert might form the worst backcourt rotation in the league. Amare Stoudemire has been an effective offensive boost off the bench, but also can’t defend anymore.

Kenyon Martin, Metta World Peace and Pablo Prigioni probably shouldn’t even be in the league at this point.

Anthony deserves better. He’s been one of the 5-10 best players in the league. He’s objectively working more than any other player.

And he’s getting no support.

In this year’s Eastern Conference, a turnaround is always possible. New York City’s other team, the Brooklyn Nets, can attest to this.

But if things don’t drastically improve, Anthony, who is a free agent at season’s end, might finally leave this mess behind.

jraymond@thenational.ae