Carmelo Anthony came into the league with a purported rivalry with Lebron James. A couple of seasons later, when James led his team to an Eastern Conference Title, Melo still couldn't get his team out of the first round. The comparisons look increasingly ludicrous.
Accentuating the problem was Melo's immaturity and off the court issues. 'Melo looked destined to be a scorer and nothing more.
2008 was a watershed year for Melo, going to the Olympics and working with veterans like Jason Kidd and Kobe rubbed off on 'Melo. Then, Denver, after giving away Marcus Camby, did an about turn and traded for Chauncey Billups, the veteran point guard who would give the Nuggets the leadership that they desperately needed.
Still, 'Melo had a somewhat disappointing regular season, statistically, at least by his standards. In the playoffs, he exploded with his PPG increasing from 22.8 to 27.2 and his APG improving from 3.6 to 4.1.
More importantly, he got through the first round for the first time in his career. In fact, for five games, he and the Nuggets gave the Lakers a real fight for Western Conference supremacy.
Credit Mr. Big Shot, but 'Melo definitely boosted his credence this postseason.