Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Position: Small Forward
Experience: 9 Seasons
2012-13 Season Averages:
24.07 PER, 26.4 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.9 SPG
Carmelo Anthony may be one of the most respected players in the NBA, but he's been the furthest thing from an MVP candidate in recent seasons. Not when he's struggled so mightily in New York for a team that has redefined underachievement.
That is, until Mike Woodson took over.
Since March 26, the eighth game of the Woodson era, Anthony is averaging 25.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game. During the 2012-13 regular season alone, Melo is averaging 26.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 0.9 steals.
Most importantly, Melo is playing defense and opting to facilitate instead of falling into isolation sets. Who would have thunk it?
As a result of this elevated defensive effort, the Knicks sit at an Eastern Conference best 14-4. They're also allowing just 94.9 points per game, all the while scoring an average of 102.7.
Anthony is key to both of those statistics.
Furthermore, the Knicks are averaging 107.4 points per 48 minutes when Anthony is on the floor. When he is not, however, they are averaging just 91.6.
For further proof, New York also has a net rating of 14.2 with Melo and 1.7 without him.
On a final note of MVP-worthiness, Anthony is posting percentages of .457/.435/.810.