New York Knicks: What Makes Carmelo Anthony Such a Lethal Scoring Machine?

Nick LantzCorrespondent IIFebruary 20, 2013

New York Knicks: What Makes Carmelo Anthony Such a Lethal Scoring Machine?

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    Carmelo Anthony has been one of the best offensive weapons in the NBA since joining the league in 2003.

    After leading Syracuse to a national championship as a freshman, Carmelo was part of an electric draft class that included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

    Anthony has already put together an impressive NBA career, and is having a tremendous 2013 season as a member of the New York Knicks.

    He is averaging 28.6 points per game and has the Knicks atop the Atlantic Division midway through the season.

    What makes Melo such an amazing talent is the fact that he has so many features to his offensive game. He can score in so many different ways, inside and out.

    Anthony is having one of the best seasons of his 10-year career.

    Let's take a look at the tools that Carmelo has that make him one of the league's best.

Silky-Smooth Jump Shot

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    What attracted scouts to Carmelo Anthony coming out of Syracuse was the pureness of his jump shot.

    Anthony has a smooth, picture-perfect stroke that is a thing of beauty to see. The 6'8" forward can consistently hit jumper after jumper.

    He is shooting 45 percent from the floor thus far in 2013, right at his career average.

    The former Oak Hill Academy (Va.) product can get open looks in a number of different ways.

    Melo can come off of screens and hit a jumper in rhythm. He can hit turnaround and fadeaway shots from the post as well.

    Also, he can create his own shot with his quick, jerky pump fakes and his ability to step back and nail a contested shot right in the defender's face.

    Anthony can get hot very quickly and when his jump shots are falling, there's just not a whole lot a defender can do.

Strong Post Game

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    Since joining the New York Knicks and Mike Woodson, Anthony has improved his post game.

    Woodson has had Carmelo playing power forward much more during the past two seasons.

    With Amar'e Stoudemire missing numerous games for the Knicks last season and again this season, having Anthony at the 4 has been crucial.

    Anthony now fights down low far more than his days at small forward with the Denver Nuggets.

    It is difficult for most power forwards to stick with Anthony due to his athleticism and scoring mentality. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Woodson talked about how tough it is for opposing big men to guard Carmelo.

    "It’s kind of a nightmare for a lot of (power forwards) in this league because he’s capable of doing so much offensively."

    'Melo has been so successful playing the 4 that he may stay at the position for the rest of his career.

Effective 3-Point Shot

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    Carmelo Anthony is not somebody that should be left open behind the arc.

    A big part of his game is his ability to knock down the outside shot. This season, Carmelo is shooting lights-out from deep. He is shooting over 40 percent from downtown, far better than his 33.5 percent career average.

    Anthony has already made and taken the most three-pointers in his career (118-291) just halfway through the season. He is currently No. 7 in the league in three-pointers made in 2013.

    Melo has been known to get a hot hand from three-point land, as he showed in the 2012 London Olympics. He broke the U.S. Olympic record for points in a game with 37, and hit 10 of his first 12 three-point attempts.

    Anthony is an exceptional outside shooter and has been very successful hitting from deep in 2013.

A True Mismatch

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    Carmelo Anthony is such a unique player because he can score in so many different ways.

    This makes it extremely difficult for whoever has to guard the dynamic forward. Power forwards especially have a tough time sticking with the elite scorer.

    Anthony can play both small and big. He can handle the ball well and can surely muscle his way for a tough layup down low.

    Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins discussed the mismatch that Anthony poses in an interview with the New York Daily News.

    "He’s that nightmare matchup if he plays the three because he can overpower threes," explained Collins. "And if he plays the four, in most instances he’s going to beat that guy with quickness."

    The Knicks will continue to take advantage of the instances where Anthony finds a mismatch. It is difficult for anybody to guard this explosive weapon.

Comes Through in the Clutch

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    When the clock is winding down, there are only a select-few players in the NBA that a coach would want consistently taking the final shot, and Anthony is one of them.

    With so many ways to score, Melo keeps defenders guessing at what he will do next. This is a big reason why he is the perfect candidate to take a last-second shot.

    Over his career, Carmelo has hit a number of game-winning shots. One of the most memorable games for Anthony with the Knicks came in a 100-99 overtime victory over the Chicago Bulls last season, where he scored 43 points.

    In that game, Anthony hit the game-tying three-point shot to force overtime. Melo would then go on to hit the game-winning triple in overtime to give the Knicks an emotional victory.

    Carmelo is deadly with a basketball and can come through big with the game on the line.