To no one’s surprise, the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week. In four games last week, Anthony averaged a cool 41.8 points per game on 61.2% shooting (yawn), to go with 8.2 rebounds per game in 39 minutes per game.
Perhaps most important of all, however, Anthony led the charge as the Knicks continued a win streak that has now reached 12 games. In the process, the Knicks moved two and a half games ahead of the Indiana Pacers for second place in the Eastern Conference, locked up the Atlantic Division, and reached 50 wins for the first time in 13 years. Likewise, Anthony’s absolutely torrid shooting led the Knicks to wins over four playoff teams in a row – the Miami Heat (who the Knicks took the season series, 3-1, against), Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, and Oklahoma City Thunder.
April continues to be a favorable month for ‘Melo. Last season, when Anthony was moved to power forward because of Amar’e Stoudemire’s back injury (the spring is not favorable for Stoudemire, apparently), Anthony averaged nearly 30 points on 49.5% shooting, 46% from downtown, with 7.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game.
Anthony’s reception of the award follows J.R. Smith’s after Smith was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week last week.
The Knicks only have six games remaining in their season, but they still face three important tests in the Chicago Bulls (Thursday 4/11), Pacers (Sunday 4/14), and Hawks (Wednesday 4/17). If Anthony and the Knicks can continue to play at this level, it’s conceivable that they could win out and reach 56 wins for the first time since the 1996-97 season.