Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE
Most Valuable Player. Least Valuable Sweater.
Carmelo Anthony is one of the best pure scorers on Earth, but he has never finished higher than sixth in the voting for the NBA MVP (in 2007-08, when he had his fourth highest PPG average, but the highest field goal percentage of his career).
This season, he will crack the top five. It's nearly impossible to surpass the elite play of LeBron James and Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul can contribute in every facet of the game, so Melo will find himself fourth in the voting at the season's end.
Anthony has been talking about a team-first mentality and a dedication to winning—instead of padding his stats—all during training camp, so he appears prepared to post averages closer to 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists instead of his customary 25, six and three. He was also much more active on defense after Mike Woodson took over head coaching duties.
And that equals a more dynamic Knicks team and a more valuable Melo.
When NBA GMs were asked who would win the MVP, 3.3 percent of them said it would be Anthony. He will come close, but will have to settle for an honorable mention.