Did The Injuries Hurt Carmelo's MVP Campaign?

DeAnte MitchellCorrespondent IFebruary 10, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 20:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets stands on the court during warm ups before their game against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on January 20, 2010 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

When you talk about an MVP candidate there are some intangibles needed to be considered. The desire to win, how well you can lift your team to victory, how valuable the player is to the team, then you add in their individual performance and that’s how you get your MVP.

So with that in mind look at Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets. Carmelo Anthony has been in the NBA for 6 years, and now this season Melo is playing like a Denver Veteran. Over the first two games Carmelo Anthony became only the fifth player in Denver Nuggets history to score 60 or more in the first games; scored 71(41, and 30).

Carmelo earlier this season was playing like an early MVP candidate; scoring 30.3 points per game while Denver rides one of the best records in the West. Melo was named as the Player of the Month in November after scoring 30.4 points per game in November, highlighted by a 50-point performance.

But after the early dominance Carmelo fell down the ranks of the MVP talk after missing some time due to injuries. Nuggets forward Anthony has missed a total of 13 games this season; Denver is (8-5) without Melo in the lineup.

Desire to win

Carmelo definitely has the desire to win. Carmelo approaches every game with the same intensity as the last. Battling ankle problems throughout the season doesn’t matter to Melo; he’ll still get out there and give you his all on a given night.

How well you can lift your team to victory

With Chauncey “Mr. Big Shot” Billups on the Nuggets you would think they’d go to him in late game situations. However that has not always been the case.

Carmelo is the number one threat when you need offense in a late game situation. In the past Carmelo has been the one knocking down key free-throws or a late jumpshot to lift the Nuggets over opponents.

How valuable the player is to the team

Carmelo means a lot to the Nuggets. Despite the (8-5) record without him, the Nuggets aren’t the same team without him. With Melo in the lineup the Nuggets lose a low post scorer, perimeter threat, and the ability to draw double teams.

Melo can make the team better; after drawing the double team he can dribble out and make the right play needed to score the basketball. In addition, he is great in transition offense. Carmelo runs the floor and finishes around the rim.

Individual performance

As of now, Melo is averaging 29.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assist per game.

Carmelo is very good in half court offense but most of his points come from offensive transition. Carmelo stretches the floor with his three point shooting ability, and when defenders come out tight he’ll drive right past them.

Carmelo is definitely having a MVP year if the Nuggets can stay atop of the West standing and he produces every game. The injuries may have slipped him out the talk for now but look for Anthony to shake up the MVP voting.