Hollinger Calls Carmelo Anthony “One of the Game’s Top 25 or so Best Players”…. Seriously?

The New York hype machine overrated Anthony as a conquering superstar; while that’s a step too far, he is one of the game’s 25 or so best players. That’s about as high as we can heap the praise until he either starts trying on defense or becomes more efficient on offense. That said, Anthony is capable of phenomenal scoring binges, leading all small forwards in points per minute and posting a solid true shooting percentage on the way because he draws so many fouls — Anthony earned 0.40 free throw attempts per field-goal attempt and converted 83.8 percent from the stripe.

Last season Anthony had one of his best seasons shooting the ball from outside, making 42.6 percent of his long 2-pointers and 33.3 percent of his 3-pointers; he took the latter shot more frequently and more accurately as a Knick than at any other point in his career, but in a 27-game sample I’m not sure we can read too much into that. However, he converted only 55.6 percent of his tries in the basket area, a place where he normally excels. I’d expect his numbers from both spots to revert to their historical norms.

Anthony’s less-discussed high-value skill is his beastly rebounding for a small forward. He was fifth at the position in rebound rate and is among the league’s best at tapping in his own missed shot; for a Knicks squad with a soft underbelly his board work will be quite helpful.

Alas, he needs to put more effort into stopping the other team. On the ball, he has his moments, and Anthony doesn’t blatantly cherry-pick the way he did a couple years ago, but he’s basically worthless as a help defender and openly loafed in several games — both before and after the trade. He’s had brief spasms of effort over the past couple of years, but the big picture numbers speak volumes. Last season was the fourth consecutive one in which Anthony’s teams defended better once he left the court, while his Synergy numbers went from bad as a Nugget to among the league’s worst as a Knick.

Via Hollinger’s Genius Article

Really John Hollinger? A top 25 player? What Carmelo Anthony are you watching? I do not even say this as a Knick fan I say this as somebody who watches basketball. Do you, John Hollinger, even watch the NBA? I can totally understand why people can say ‘Melo is not a top 5 player, or even top 10 player. Because of his defense. I get that. A top 25 player? Really. So basically Hollinger is saying that guys like Zach Randolph, Josh Smith, Manu Ginobili and Chris Bosh are better than Carmelo Anthony. Carmelo Anthony, bias aside, is the best clutch player in the league today (see Knick games vs Memphis, Indiana, Philadelphia last season). Carmelo Anthony is universally regarded as the most versatile scorer in the league along with Kobe Bryant. Anthony is dominant in the post, in the mid-range game and off the dribble. He shot 42% from 3 last season as a member of the Knicks. Anthony has a career scoring average of 24.8 points per game. At 6’8 and 230 pounds, Anthony creates matchup problems all around the floor. Even Hollinger has to admit that Anthony is one of the game’s top rebounders at the small forward position.

So what justification does Hollinger give for Anthony only being one of the “game’s 25 or so best players”? One measly 4 sentence paragraph about his defense. Interesting. I do not disagree with Hollinger’s analysis of Anthony but I find it fascinating how little evidence he uses to back up his assertion. Isn’t he the king of stats? He can’t come up with some defensive efficiency stats or some stat measuring Melo’s shoe size relative to the guys he is guarding thus making him an inferior defender? C’mon Hollinger?? I know I am just starting on this whole blogging thing but I’d like to challenge Hollinger to write me back. Give me some justification on why ‘Melo is worse than 24 other players. I get his defense is weak, i’ll agree with that, but he is not worse than 24 other players in the NBA.

Now am I a little biased? Yes I am a Knick fan. That being said, I call it like I see it. Do I hate Bill Walker? Absolutely. Talk about a bad defender? He’s awful and he commits more offensive fouls than any players I’ve ever seen. I think Billups is a poor fit for this team unless he takes on a distributing mentality. I think Stoudemire is an abysmal on ball defender. I do not shy away from the facts. ‘Melo is not  a great defender. Fact. Nobody will disagree with that. But do not say, John Hollinger, that there are 24 better players in the NBA than Carmelo Anthony. That is insulting to people reading that you think people will actually believe that. Even if you HATE Carmelo Anthony, even if you think he is a braindead, greedy ball hog, you cannot name 24 better players. I bet John Hollinger will pass over this or probably not even read it but I challenge him to elaborate on this article. Make a list of 24 better players and give some justification for it. I know he won’t do it and I won’t hold that against him. He works for ESPN. He’s big time. Maybe that is why he had the balls, or lack thereof, to say that Carmelo Anthony is one of the “game’s top 25 players or so”. That statement is wrong, it is insulting and it is moronic. Carmelo Anthony, despite his defense, is a top 10 NBA player. Few are as versatile offensively and no player last season was more clutch. Great job John Hollinger. You sound like an ass and a biased Knick hater once again.

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