If this is the new and improved playoff model of Carmelo Anthony, may the postseason never end.
An example of the Carmelo Anthony playoff model Examples include when being guarded by Peja he caught the ball on the left wing and was immediately doubled by David West. Instead of forcing his way around the trap or dribbling backwards out to half court to get rid of the extra defender he instantaneously threw a bounce pass to Kenyon who was open above the free throw line. Kenyon took a dribble to his left to draw the defense in and kicked the ball into the right corner to Dahntay Jones. Jones then drove the baseline and finished with a nice three foot floater. It was all trigger by Melo recognizing the double and making a quick decision.
A couple of plays later Melo ran the pick and roll with Nene. It was not pretty, but Nene dove to the rim as any good big man should and Melo picked and prodded his way into the lane. David West had sagged off of Kenyon to help on Nene. As Melo entered the lane he took a very quick glance at Kenyon and West reacted by stepping away from Nene. As soon as he did Melo dumped the ball to Nene who threw home his first dunk in two and a half months (just kidding Nene, welcome back).
On another occasion Melo passed the ball into Nene in the post who was being single covered by Tyson Chandler. Nene passed the ball out to Melo. In the past Melo would have considered his duty to the team completed. He had passed the ball and it came back to him which means he earned the right to take a shot. Tonight as soon as the ball touched his hands he threw it right back to Nene who beat Chandler with a nice up and under for the bucket and the foul.
If I could wrap up the difference in Melo over the previous three games it is that he is not only getting himself easy shots, but he is using his talent to consistently get his teammates easy shots. Melo has totaled 21 assists in the last three games and he has tied or surpassed his previous playoff career high of five assists for three straight games.
Melo has also raised his defensive game to the highest level I have seen on a consistent basis at any point in his career. Melo clearly is taking his assignment of covering Peja Stojakovic seriously. He finished the game with only six rebounds, but most of them were ones he earned going up very strong in traffic.
Carmelo is a dangerous weapon right now for a dangerous team and I cannot wait to see what he will do next.
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