Carmelo Anthony: 3 Things He Should Take from His Olympic Experience
When you have a team with former MVPs, scoring champions and rising stars, hearing Carmelo Anthony's name constantly come up for Team USA is actually pretty surprising.
Of course Melo is still one of the top guys in the entire league no matter how you slice it, but after a year filled with so much turmoil, it's great to see Anthony finally find his stride in London. After lighting up every team he's come across so far with stellar shooting and a confidence that he started to lose last year, Melo has cemented his legacy on this excellent Olympic team.
However, Melo's recent successes simply can't end in London. Hopefully, he can take this momentum and approach to the game and apply it to himself and his teammates in New York.
If he can successfully accomplish this, then I have no doubt that the Knicks can and will compete in what is shaping up to be another exciting season in the Big Apple.
Here's three things that I hope Melo is figuring out about his game while he's across the pond.
Better Offensive Efficiency
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The Achilles' heel of Anthony's game has always been the fact that he just doesn't know when to stop shooting.
Melo is easily New York's biggest and most talented player on their roster. He's also the leader of this team, and the success of the Knicks will rely almost solely on how well he is able to contribute and perform all season.
There's no doubt that Melo is a special player. He's the kind of player who can single-handedly win a game for you, and he's proving that again in London. But he can just as quickly lose it for you too, and although he's been on fire so far in the Olympic Games, you still can't help but wonder if Melo can keep it up, especially with all of the shots he likes to take.
And that's where the problem comes in. Is Melo effective on offense? Ninety-nine percent of the time, yes.
But is he efficient on offense? Not in the slightest.
Look at a guy like LeBron James, especially when he's surrounded by the best team that this country has to offer. He knows when to pass, when to drive, when to shoot and when to just back away and let another one of his teammates take the reins.
Seriously, the box scores don't lie. Even if you haven't watched a single Olympic game, you can clearly see the kind of impact James has on that court, no matter how he chooses to contribute.
But Melo? Straight points. All day, every day.
Melo just doesn't have that sort of mindset. He knows how to score, and how to score in bunches. That's about it. It's not a bad thing when you're talking about one of the biggest offensive threats in the game and a certified franchise player, but it still leaves tons of room for improvement, and there will be days this season where Melo's shots simply aren't falling. It's just the way basketball works.
To be fair, they're falling now, and Melo has become much better at picking his shots. Can he do that for New York? I sure hope so.
Melo simply has to learn that sometimes the game doesn't live or die by him. Team USA has helped him see that a little clearer, and because of this he can go out there and just play basketball.
And when he's just doing that, Melo is one of the best in the world.
Momentum and Confidence Going into Next Season
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Obviously, a win for the United States will give everybody on that team a reason to walk into the next NBA season with a boatload of confidence.
But for Melo? That gold medal could end up doing wonders on his current frame of mind. Maybe more so then anybody else on that Olympic team.
After an absolutely crazy season last year filled with negative press and controversy, Melo could use something like the Olympics to help erase any doubt of what the man is still capable of.
With the way he's playing in London, it's clear that Melo is out there trying to prove something. He's shining on a team where he's not even a starter, and the USA could have been actually been in trouble without his recent performances on the court.
This is most prevalent in the USA's recent close win over Lithuania, where he dropped a very important 20 points. Oh yeah and let's not forget about the record breaking 37 points (on 13-of-16 from the field) against Nigeria. I figured that I should mention that in the slide somewhere.
Not to shabby for a guy who, just a few months ago, was chucking up shots with absolutely no remorse.
Again, like in the previous slide, he's not just being effective, he's learning to be EFFICIENT. There's a big difference, and if he keeps succeeding, that momentum is only going to help him in the NBA.
It's clear that Melo is pretty close to getting his swagger back. If he can finish strong and lead the USA to a gold medal, expect him to carry that confidence right into Brooklyn on November 1.
Winning Attitude and a Better Team Dynamic
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I do realize that Team USA features most of the greatest basketball players in the world. But that doesn't matter if a team can't gel properly. Just look at 2004.
Even with a team filled with the NBA's best players, you still need to put together a team that can provide certain attributes and team qualities. Team USA is no exception, and neither are the New York Knicks.
Melo has found his niche on Team USA. If there was an MVP award for the Olympics (is there? I really don't know, and I don't feel like looking it up), then he'd be one of the top candidates. He's proven during the Olympics that when he's fully focused, he can be a shining star on any team and in any situation.
The Knicks could really use this version of Carmelo Anthony when he gets back to the states. Hopefully, Melo is not just focused on the gold, but also in bettering himself as a basketball player and franchise centerpiece. New York has a lot riding on this guy, and it's up to him to bring this kind of team play back to the Garden.
It's great to see Melo prove to himself, and to the world, that he's more then just a selfish shooter. Sure, he's continued to shoot the lights out over in London, but he's doing it in a much smarter way. His confidence and hot hand has really rubbed off on just about everybody. Maybe even while he's down there, he can continue to build his chemistry with fellow Knick Tyson Chandler.
Either way, Melo has to keep this winning attitude going, as well as take every aspect and experience of these Olympic Games and bring it back to New York, where the best fans in the world are waiting.
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