Carmelo Anthony Is Overrated: Melo Isn't Even a Top-10 NBA Player

Rich Kurtzman@@RichKurtzman Senior Analyst IFebruary 20, 2011

Carmelo Anthony Is Overrated: Melo Isn't Even a Top-10 NBA Player

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    The only thing NBA-related anyone has been talking about is Carmelo Anthony. Why? He's not even a top-10 player.
    The only thing NBA-related anyone has been talking about is Carmelo Anthony. Why? He's not even a top-10 player.Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    “Carmelo Anthony is a one-dimensional player,” says Charles Barkley on TNT.

    While it's difficult to agree with a lot of what Chuck says, he's always been a critic of Carmelo Anthony, and rightfully so.

    Carmelo Anthony is a prolific scorer, possibly and probably one of the smoothest shooters in the league.

    It's challenging to think of a better shooter currently in the Association than Melo, maybe Ray Allen or Kevin Durant are purer shooters, but Anthony scores with ease.

    Let's make it clear, Melo is a top-10 scorer, possibly even in the top-three, but when talking about all-around game, there are 10 players that are better suited to build a team around.

Melo's a Top-10 Scorer, but What Else?

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 07:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets grabs a rebound over Stephen Jackson #1 of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 7, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User exp
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Carmelo Anthony's career scoring average is 24.8, comparable to Kobe Bryant (25.3), LeBron James (27.7) and other legitimate top-10 players.

    Melo likes to face-up on defenders, jab-stepping, and pulling up for mid and long-range jumpers.

    He can also turn one of those jab-steps into a determined drive to the hoop.

    But if there's a critique of his nearly flawless offensive game, it's that Anthony doesn't finish well enough around the rim.

    Melo's 6'8” and gets blocked more than any other player in the NBA; it's ridiculous because it's true.

    He pump-fakes under the hoop more often than just attempting a dunk the first time and either making the shot or getting fouled in the process. Of course, Melo gets many of his free throw attempts while driving, but his weak finishes could be and-ones instead of misses and two shots from the free throw line.

Anthony Doesn't Rebound Enough for a 6'8” Forward

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    PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 15:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets puts up a shot during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 15, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Nuggets 100-94.  NOTE TO USER: User express
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Melo is a superb scorer, yes, but he focuses all his energy into scoring and doesn't rebound enough for his height.

    Anthony is averaging a career-high this season at 7.6 boards per game, good for 23rd in the league, but throughout his career he only averages 6.3 RPG, far less than top-10 ballers LeBron (7.1), Dwight Howard (12.8), Kevin Love (11.5) and only slightly more than smaller players Kobe (5.3), Dwyane Wade (5.1) and Rajon Rondo (4.4).

    Melo could be a dominating force in the paint grabbing rebounds, like he's finally learning now in his eighth season, but is this season just a statistical anomaly or will Anthony continue to focus on rebounding in the future?

Melo Doesn't Pass Enough

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    DENVER - APRIL 28:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets as C.J. Miles #34 of the Utah Jazz defends in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs at the Pepsi Center on April 28, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets d
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Throughout his career, Melo only averages 3.1 assists per game; it's actually down to 2.8 this year, and he's never really progressed as a passer.

    Anthony may be a supreme scorer, but he's actually bad for the offense.

    When he gets the ball in his sticky hands, it's most likely not going to a teammate, even when he gets double teamed.

    Melo's ball-hogging tendencies slow down and stagnate the offense; once the ball goes into Anthony, teammates know they won't get it back, ball movement stops and so does player movement.

    Melo scored 50 points this season to tie his career-high, but in the loss against Houston, he didn't get a single assist.

Anthony Doesn't Give Enough Energy on the Defensive End

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    PHOENIX - APRIL 13:  Jason Richardson #23 of the Phoenix Suns puts up a shot over Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets during the NBA game at US Airways Center on April 13, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agree
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Once again, there's no questioning Melo on the offensive end, but since he gives so much energy on the scoring side of the court, he doesn't have any to give on the defensive side.

    Top-10 players have to play both ways, on both ends of the court—Melo just plainly doesn't give effort on D.

    Anthony only averages 1.1 steal per game over his career, and 0.5 blocks per game, and beyond not producing statistically on defense, Melo looks lost on that end of the court at times too. It's inexcusable for an eight-year veteran.

    On the other hand, Kobe, LeBron and Wade are known for their abilities on the defensive end as they get named to Defensive first and second teams.

Melo Is Not a Leader

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    Melo's not teaching teammates like second-year player Ty Lawson on the bench, he sits quietly or makes jokes.
    Melo's not teaching teammates like second-year player Ty Lawson on the bench, he sits quietly or makes jokes.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Carmelo Anthony isn't a leader, he doesn't have it in him to lead vocally or by example, and it hurts the team.

    Melo isn't the type of guy to be the first one in the gym and the last one to leave.

    So why would his teammates want to try their hardest when the best player on their team doesn't try his hardest?

    Melo's never been a leader and it's doubtful that he will become one in the future—he's not the prototypical player to build a team around.

Top-10 NBA Players

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    DENVER - NOVEMBER 16:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during a break in the action against the New York Knicks at the Pepsi Center on November 16, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Knicks 120-118. NOTE TO USER: User ex
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    This is the list of the Top-10 NBA players currently in the league in no particular order. And because this is current, we'll use this season's statistics.

    Kobe Bryant: 25.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 4.8 APG

    LeBron James: 26.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 7.3 APG, 23 double-doubles

    Dwyane Wade: 25.4 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 4.3 APG

    Dwight Howard: 22.8 PPG, 13.8 RPG, 2.1 BPG, 45 double-doubles

    Rajon Rondo: 10.9 PPG, 12.2 APG, 4.4 RPG, 22 double-doubles

    Deron Williams: 21.3 PPG, 9.7 APG, 3.9 RPG, 27 double-doubles

    Amar'e Stoudemire: 26.1 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.2 BPG, 21 double-doubles

    Derrick Rose: 24.9 PPG, 8.2 APG, 4.4 RPG

    Kevin Love: 21.1 PPG, 15.5 RPG, 2.4 APG, 51 double-doubles

    Kevin Durant: 28.9 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.8 APG

    Carmelo Anthony: 25.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.8 APG, 12 double-doubles

    Shoot, even Blake Griffin (3.5 APG) averages more assists than Melo, and Chris Paul and Steve Nash are arguably better players than Anthony as well.

    What do you think fans? Let's have some logical discussion below!

    Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being the CSU Rams Examiner, Kurtzman is a Denver Nuggets, Denver Broncos and NBA Featured Columnist for bleacherreport.com, the Colorado/Utah Regional Correspondent for stadiumjourney.com and a weekly contributor to milehighhoops.com.

    Rich also heads up PR for K-Biz and Beezy, a Colorado-based rap group.

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