But for now, let's take an advanced look at what exactly made Thursday's performance so special:
Anthony continued to operate from the post, serving as his vantage point, and sliver his way into the paint for contested buckets. His desire to fight for the ball has improved and so has his footwork when establishing presence in the low post.
He was only whistled for one foul when fighting for position, however, his defender also dispensed a fair share of contact, as well.
By constantly switching position on the low block, Anthony's defender must adjust to his movement or else Anthony will take advantage by either executing a spin move and exploding to the rim or turning around and burying the jumper over the lagging defender.
Because of this, opponents must follow his every move, thus allowing Melo to precisely control where he receives the ball and how he will react; similar to how a driver behind the wheel of the car can dictate the exact speed, direction, and destination of where the vehicle will go. Insert Carmelo as the driver and the defender as the car, and your equation is complete.
His length is a blatant asset with his back to the basket and makes the jobs of Chauncey Billups and Ty Lawson easier when delivering him the ball. It allows for a bigger window to dump the ball into and less of risk for a steal or a deflection by the defense.
He was assaulted at various points in the game and a slight portion of that contact was self-induced. Unlike most scorers in the league, with contact in sight, Anthony opens up his stance in order to receive more contact and better his chances of getting to the free-throw line.
This was most evident with Denver trailing 91-90 with 2:24 remaining in the final period. Anthony slipped past Martell Webster and thrust his shoulder into LaMarcus Aldridge's outstretched arms. Aldridge clearly defended the play the right way, but Carmelo being the crafty veteran that he is assessed the situation perfectly and did what any elite scorer does: When there is no contact, create it.
On the defensive side of the ball, Anthony was assigned the task of defending Brandon Roy after Anthony Carter and Arron Afflalo displayed insufficient services early in the fourth.
After rotating with Carter and allowing a few points by Roy, Melo clamped down on the two-time All-Star, confusing him with his foot-speed and pestering him with his length. Roy's only points in the quarter came on three free-throws, as he preceded to go 0-3.
More importantly, all of Roy's shots were jumpers from 21 feet and out.
Carmelo Anthony has roared out of the tunnel focused; for all his doubters and subtractors, that will prove to be a bad thing, yet his biggest motivation.
He's scored 71 points in his first two games of the season and both his field-goal percentage and three-point percentage are at 50 percent or better. Anthony's been amazing in the first two contests of the season, and though it may be premature to begin the talk, Anthony could become a strong candidate for MVP if he continues to best or come anywhere near the performances he has put out thus far.
On a related note, Melo's 41 were the most points by a visiting player in Portland
since February 1988, when Karl Malone set the mark. One more point than both Michael Jordan and Larry Bird totaled against Portland in their playing careers.
More importantly, Denver now has two wins over Northwest division rivals salted away, and with good measure, considering the fact that they have three remaining games against Portland and two versus Utah.