Carmelo Anthony has Poor Performance in All-Star Game


February 15, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Eastern Conference forward

Carmelo Anthony

of the New York Knicks (7) smiles during the second half of the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, the NBA All-Star game is behind us and it is only a matter of time before we find out what we already know: Will Carmelo Anthony shut down for the second half?

With all the buzz that has been made, and the plan to have surgery on his knee, it seems very likely that we wont see Anthony play again this season. But he made it clear in a pre-game interview with Craig Sager, who made his first return to TNT since battling leukemia, that he hasn’t determined if he will shut it down just yet. But no matter what his decision is, the focus is not on the rest of the season- it’s on the offseason moves the Knicks will make.

“This is a big offseason for us. Our future starts now,” Anthony told Sager. “We don’t got time to wait. I’ve been patient and I’m trying to continue be patient and believe in the organization and believe in the front office. But we have to start creating something here now. It’s been too long since the Knicks haven’t been where they belong when it comes to basketball.”

Before the Knicks can start creating a knew roster, they have to dismantle their current one. And news broke out after the All-Star Game stating that the Knicks and Amar’e Stoudemire have reached a buyout agreement. The deal does not come as a surprise, but it is just the beginning of what will be a long second half for the Knicks. If Anthony was 99% sure about shutting down after the All-Star Game, then he is probably at 100% now.

After his performance in front of his home crowd, it is probably best for Anthony that he sits out for the second half of the season.  He shot 6 for 20 with a pair of missed three-pointers on the East’s last possession, which would have put them within two points had he hit one of them. Keep in mind, most of his shots came against a lack luster defense that you would expect in this type of contest. With everyone else making impressive plays around him, Melo looked like he didn’t belong on that stage. I’m not sure if the NBA put any pressure on him to participate in the game, being that he is the only deserving candidate from New York, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they did.

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It just seems odd that a guy with knee issues and such a poor shooting performance would be allowed to play for 30 minutes, no matter what building they are playing in. The only player in the game that was on the court longer than him was LeBron James. If Head Coach Mike Budenholzer really wanted to win that game, like much of his players were obviously trying to do, then it doesn’t make any sense for Melo to play that long, let alone play in the final minutes. It’s very possible that Budenholzer just wanted Anthony to be out there in front of his home crowd, but it’s also possible that he was told to keep Anthony out there in hopes of him performing better to create a memorable moment in All-Star Game history.

Aside from Anthony, there were plenty of other stars from around the league making acrobatic plays. Even Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki decided to throw it down.

The man who stole the show was Russell Westbrook, who finished with 41 points, one point shy of Wilt Chamberlains record of 42. The record he did break, however, was most first half points with 27. It seemed like he was taking 3-pointers and driving to the hoop all night long, creating a highlight reel of plays. He jumped so high on one of his alley-oops that he hit his head on the backboard. He was unanimously named the MVP as he helped the West to a 163-158 win.

Westbrook and nearly everyone else in the contest showed the Garden what some of the biggest stars in the NBA look like. The Knicks can only hope to add one in what will be a long awaited offseason.

Next: Where Will Amar'e Stoudemire End Up Signing?

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