The stage is set for Carmelo to shine.
In case you haven't noticed, the Knicks are once again headed back to the playoffs.
They're not a top seed and they're not one of the teams that everyone fears. For a seven seed, they've got some decent talent, but as the seventh seed, they also must square off against the Miami Heat in the first round.
That's got the vast majority of people predicting nothing more than doom and gloom for the Knickerbockers.
It doesn't have to be that way though. This Knicks team still has tons of talent. They've got a great defensive center who can exploit the soft low post players of the Miami Heat. Most importantly they've got one of the best pure scorers in the NBA. A dynamic player named Carmelo Anthony.
Could the improbable happen? Could Anthony lift himself and the Knicks to new heights?
Carmelo Anthony is an explosive scorer.
The one thing regarding Carmelo Anthony that almost everyone can agree on is this.
Anthony is one of the best scorers in the NBA.
Now in his ninth season, Anthony is one of the most dynamic scorers in the NBA. He uses his lanky 6'8'' frame to effectively penetrate, shoot over defenders and finish at the rim.
He's also surrounded by a cast of New York Knicks who really don't need him to do that much more than what he's very best at.
The Knicks have players to rebound, dish and defend. That's not to say that Anthony won't do anything possible to win, but on this Knicks team when they're all playing well together, Anthony won't need to do anything more than play to his strengths.
Carmelo led Syracuse to a National Title in 2003.
It's been a while, but Carmelo Anthony has in fact led a team to a title.
It wasn't in the NBA, it was in the NCAA tournament and the year was 2003.
The fact remains that Anthony has won before. He's also displayed the same types of leadership in the past month or so as a member of the New York Knicks.
Since Mike Woodson took over as head coach Anthony has been more than willing to succeed and to fail. He's played fearless basketball. When there are big shots that need to be taken, he takes them. He doesn't always connect, but it's very hard to succeed without first experiencing failure. Anthony has experienced both, and he may be ready to win again.
Anthony has boundless energy on the court.
That doesn't really clear the field, but it does trim it down. While all three players appear likely to play through the postseason, it's unclear just how their current injuries will impact their games.
If Anthony stays healthy, then the Knicks may have a deep playoff run in them, and if they can actually make a run for a ring, then Anthony could end with one of the league's most cherished pieces of hardware.
The postseason MVP Award.
If Carmelo Anthony really wants Mike Woodson back as head coach next season then wining the NBA Title would help a lot.
Carmelo Anthony recently went on the record as a big proponent of retaining current interim head coach Mike Woodson and removing that "interim" label.
The Knicks might do that, but as of now, they're not showing their cards on this issue.
That would be more than likely to change if the Knicks were to win an NBA title. In fact there's nothing that Woodson can do that would create more job security than if he were to lead the Knicks to a NBA Championship.
If Anthony really wants Woodson back, then raising his level of play and leading New York to its first title in nearly 40 years would go a long way toward earning Mike Woodson a real head coaching job.
Dirk Nowitzki the 2011 NBA Finals MVP shakes hands with the legendary Bill Russell.
In order for Carmelo Anthony to win the postseason MVP award, the Knicks are going to have to win the NBA Championship.
By accomplishing one task, both get completed. In order for the Knicks to win that title, the onus to perform at or above one's expectations rest heaviest on those individual players who are most critical to their team.
Anthony is the most important player on the Knicks. He's proven that repeatedly over the past six weeks. If he can will the Knicks to postseason glory, then winning MVP will seem easy. In fact if he can actually get the Knicks past their first-round opponent, he'll already be on his way.
The expectations for the Knicks and for Anthony are actually somewhat modest when compared to most of the higher-seeded teams. If the Knicks could actually pull off this unquestionably massive upset, then an MVP Award would seem like a logical conclusion to a player of Anthony's caliber.