Chandler says Olympics made ‘Melo better player this year
With three minutes left in the third quarter Sunday at Madison Square Garden Phoenix’s Shannon Brown leaked out in transition, brought in the long pass and was cruising in for a layup…
When Carmelo Anthony came in with the chase down block.
It wasn’t the athletic and emphatic LeBron James variety, but ‘Melo didn’t give up on a play, didn’t concede the points, and forced a miss. It was the kind of a play a team leader on an elite team makes. It wasn’t the kind of hustle defensive play Carmelo used to make.
There’s a different feel to the Carmelo Anthony we see in New York this year, the guy just named the NBA player of the week for averaging 29.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in the Knicks four games. The Knicks are 12-4 and if ‘Melo keeps playing at this level for a full season he will inject himself into MVP consideration.
Tyson Chandler was singing Anthony’s praises on WFAN in New York and said his playing in London on the USA Olympic team had a lot to do with how ‘Melo has played this season (via Sports Radio Interviews).
Anthony has come back playing a more rounded, more selfless game. He’s not just a designated gunner, he is moving the ball on offense and moving his feet on defense. He is looking like a real leader.
Chandler echoed that talking about Anthony’s defense.
It’s early still — 16 games does not an MVP or a contender make. But the feel is different in New York. And we might be able to trace the change all the way back to London.