We are all well aware of the colloquialism “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Beauty is subjective. We can certainly develop a general consensus of what is beautiful, but we cannot remove the human element of subjectivity. I attended college in Indiana for two years and being from Colorado I was quite unimpressed with the features of the Indiana landscape, there was a friend of mine who was determined to convince me that a flat horizon was prettier than a jagged one. Truthfully, there is beauty in both the mountains as well in the distant horizon. Was one of us right, or more right than the other? That is a question that has no answer.
Some of the world’s great thinkers have tried to determine a scientific or mathematic formula to define physical beauty. Even if one day a formula is developed that can prove who is beautiful and who does not make the cut people will continue to debate the physical qualities of those around us. For every Stanley Hudson, there is a Sir Mix-A-Lot.
When you apply statistics and formulas to something a subjective characteristic, there is always room for dissent. That is the crux of the stats versus scouting discussion. While some believe numbers never lie others will never accept a string of data to contradict what their hearts and eyes tell them, even if it is corrupted by alcohol.
Beauty may be fun to talk about and more fun to ogle, but this is a blog about basketball. Unlike with beauty, statistics and formulas can paint a very comprehensive picture of what a player can or cannot do. The statistics tell us that Carmelo Anthony is not an efficient scorer. While his 28.2 points per game seem to suggest he is an elite scorer, numerous other stats decry that assertion as preposterous. Whether it is his pedestrian 45.8% shooting, his mediocre 54.6% true shooting percentage, or his league average 1.07 points per possession we have ample evidence that Carmelo is inefficient and when we subjectively look at what he does we are misled in thinking he is an immensely talented and versatile scoring machine.
This has troubled me greatly. I believe in the statistics. I know that efficiency is not a subjective matter, but a clear cut numeric certainty. I was one of the first people to decry Melo’s lack of efficiency.
On the other hand, I have seen every professional game Carmelo Anthony has played. The man was put on earth to make buckets. He is big, strong, quick, he can shoot off a jab step, he can shoot off the dribble, he can drive with either hand, even though he rarely finishes with his left, he does not reflect the meager abilities of the volume scorer some are making him out to be. My eyes see all he can do and I cannot believe that Carmelo Anthony is significantly worse offensively than the other more statically efficient superstars in the league.
The Denver Nuggets have been putting on the full court press lately trying to combat the media frenzy that is the Indian Summer of Carmelo. They are pushing the angle that Carmelo Anthony is a Nugget and he wants to be a Nugget. They have articles up by Aaron Lopez reminding everyone that Kobe Bryant asked publically to be traded and remained a Laker for life and an interview with Carmelo where he never says he does not want to be a Nugget.
There have been numerous stories hitting on various angles of Carmelo’s situation. He is not going to sign the extension. Actually he probably will sign the extension. Never mind, he wants to be traded. Hey Carmelo has never once said he wants to be traded. Now there is news that Carmelo’s new bride, Lala Vazquez, has said it is possible Carmelo could play for New York. Everyone is treating every article like the Rosetta Stone or the Dead Sea Scrolls expecting to find some kind of clue, some hidden message that will tell them what Carmelo is going to do.