Updated Carmelo Anthony vs. LeBron James Tale of the Tape
On December 6, the first place 13-4 New York Knicks travel to Miami to take on the first place 12-4 Heat.
The first and third overall picks from the 2003 NBA Draft, few players are more scrutinized, analyzed and more mesmerizing than Melo and LeBron.
Here is an updated summary of their rivalry with a look back at their first matchup this season and preview of their newest head-to-head contest.
November 2 Matchup
The Heat and Knicks met for the first time this season on November 2 in New York.
In a dominating 104-84 win by the Knicks, Anthony led all scorers with 30 points while also collecting 10 rebounds and two steals.
James led Miami with 23 points while also racking up seven rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots. All other Heat starters combined for only 32 points.
It was a huge win for the Knicks in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and helped lift the spirits of millions of New Yorkers, many of whom were left without power or worse.
Career Head-to-Head Numbers
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Here are LeBron and Carmelo's head-to-head numbers, including team wins via basketballreference.com:
As can be expected, James wins most of the stat categories, especially in assists and steals.
Melo wins the most important stat, however, and he's already added one win so far this season and will look for a second now in December.
This one won't be easy, as the Knicks play the day before against the Charlotte Bobcats while the Heat have the night off to rest up for their big matchup.
LeBron's 2012-13 Numbers
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Here's a quick look at James' stat line so far this season:
The scoring total is James' lowest since his rookie season. With Bosh and Wade both scoring at a high frequency and the Heat's strong 12-4 start, James hasn't felt the need to average 30+ a night.
His rebounding is currently a career high, most likely due to his increased role at power forward. While the field goal percentage has also improved due to more high percentage shots, it's interesting to note James' low free throw percentage. For whatever reason, the King has been struggling from the line.
His PER of 28.2 is once again tops in the NBA.
Carmelo's 2012-13 Numbers
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Here's a quick look at Anthony's stat line so far this season:
Melo has enjoyed a mini resurgence in scoring, averaging his most points per game since the 2009-10 season.
His field goal percentage is also the highest it's been since 2007-08, thanks in large part to his 43.5 percent shooting from deep, a career high.
In what could arguably be considered the best season of his 10-year career, Anthony is registering a career high 24.4 PER.
December 6th Game Preview
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Teams: New York Knicks 13-4 (6-4 road) vs. Miami Heat 12-4 (8-0 home)
Where: Miami, FL
When: 8:00pm, EST
This is the second head-to-head matchup between the teams this season, with the Knicks enjoying a 20 point win in New York earlier this season.
Now the Knicks head to Miami coming off a road win against the Charlotte Bobcats. Both Miami and New York are in first place in their respective divisions.
Anthony and James will undoubtedly be matched-up at times due to their newly increased role at power forward. Anthony is registering a 24.2 PER as a power forward while holding opposing fours to a PER of 14.6. The Knicks are +157 with Anthony on the court, according to 82games.com.
James is averaging a 30.1 PER as a power forward, but is yielding a 19.9 PER to opposing power forwards, compared to just 11.6 to small forwards. The Heat are +70 with James on the court, according to 82games.com.
While both James and Melo have their teams rolling right now, it's clear who the favorite in this matchup should be.
Not only are the Heat undefeated at home, they should also come in rested and motivated after the beatdown New York handed them last month.
While James and Anthony should both enjoy successful games, it's James and the Heat that should come out on top.