Best Season as a Knick: 2010-11, 26.3 PPG, .461/.424/.872 shooting, 3.0 APG, 6.7 RPG, 22.8 PER (which, over a full season, would have been a career high)
I think if we’ve learned anything over the last decade, it’s that hope counts for a lot. We haven’t been short of it down the years: it’s easy to forget now, but we had hope with Isiah Thomas and Larry Brown, with Marbury and McDyess and Curry and Gallinari. We had hope with Donnie Walsh too, not so long ago. And now that hope is on the precipice of blossoming into results. I say the men in charge deserve a little recognition, no?
Carmelo Anthony has played 27 games with the Knicks, but what he means to this franchise far surpasses anything he’s already done on the floor. So far our list has been largely made up of supporting players on more recent teams – we’ll get to the historical figures soon enough – but just the opportunity Carmelo has in front of him merits a place in the history of this franchise. He may blow it and send the Knicks back to the dark ages, who knows, but having brought the Knicks to the edge of title contention, after where this team was, will be historically significant years from now, regardless of what the future holds.
It only helps that he’s an all-world player to boot. Melo’s PER of 22.8, over a full season, would’ve been the highest of his career. His 3PT% of 42.4, likely an anomaly over just 27 games (although he had been shooting it well before the trade also), would have absolutely destroyed his previous season high of 37.8. After arriving in New York, his turnovers went down, his minutes, assists and shooting (by any metric) went up, and he looked like a man possessed by the idea of bringing home a title and becoming a New York icon. This season, if it ever happens, there’s no reason to assume he’ll be anything but better.
If that sounds hopeful, it is. And we have Melo to thank.