Before I go any further into this analysis let me say that I am not a LeBron James hater. In fact, I admire LeBron James for his incredible overall game and am not going to, in anyway shape or form, try diminish his prowess as a basketball player or as a person. He just happens to be the one person that never seems to take any spit for his areas in statistical shadows. The one thing that is going to happen in this article is the real analysis of the statistical numbers that Carmelo is putting up in comparison to LBJ, and others, in this World Championship affair. So here is my disclaimer: If you can’t handle ‘Real Talk’ about the stats you should probably not have your basketball world rocked by the rest of this article. I can not be responsible for making Carmelo Anthony your new favorite player.
Let’s get down to business…
First and foremost, I would like to point out Carmelo Anthony has currently recorded nine steals so far in these games. That ranks him third on the team, only behind Chris Paul and surprise, surprise LBJ, with eleven and ten respectively. I know what your about to say, “Well LBJ has more steals so that must mean that he is playing better D.” You may be right, but when you look at the statistical category of turnovers. This is where you will find the truth in all this projected hate. Carmelo Anthony has only coughed up the ball four times thus far. LBJ, D-Wade, Chris Paul, and Joe Johnson have all turned it over far more times than ‘Melo. So in a heads-up comparison, LBJ has a 1:1 steal-to-turnover ratio, while ‘Melo has a much more favorable 9:4, or better than 2:1 ratio with the same analysis. This points to the fact that while both men are stealing the rock from their opponents at a fairly symmetrical rate, Carmelo doesn’t get it stolen from him or turn it over nearly as much as LBJ. Point being… Stop the Hate.
Now onto another category where Carmelo deserves some props. Only Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard are grabbing more offensive rebounds than the ‘Melo man. In addition to this stat, Kirk Hinrich is the second leading rebound collector, at 4.4 per game, behind Dwight Howard with 5.4 boards on average. ‘Melo is snatching boards at a rate of 3.4 a contest. Taking Hinrich out of the picture, mainly because he is a point guard and there is no explanation other than pure desire for his board totals, ‘Melo’s total rebounding numbers are only inferior to, guess who, LBJ with an average of 4.0, Chris Bosh with an average of 3.8, Brad Miller with an average of 4.3, and Dwight Howard with an average of 5.4. When you calculate that B-Miller, Bosh, and Howard are all big men who should grab more boards. That leaves you with LBJ and Carmelo to compare against each other. ‘Melo is hitting the O-boards harder than LBJ, but LBJ has three more total rebounds. Both men are working hard on the glass, so why is Anthony being singled out for his alleged lack of defense? Point being…Stop the Hate.
Now I’m going to flip the script and point out some areas where I think LBJ needs to take some heat if Carmelo is going to be in the cooker for his imaginary defensive deficiencies. Carmelo is hitting the three with much more proficiency than LeBron. LBJ is hoisting up treys at a 36% success rate, while ‘Melo is hitting 50% of his long range bombs. Is there anyone saying that LBJ is a poor three point shooter or has bad shot selection? The answer is no, but if ‘Melo is taking guff for not playing D, than maybe we should talk about this area of LeBron’s. Point being… Stop the Hate
And finally is the statistical category of free throw percentage. Carmelo is hitting 68% of his charity strip attempts. LBJ is only cashing in on 54%, plus has only gotten to the line for eleven attempts compared to Anthony’s 22. Does this mean that LBJ is not being aggressive taking the ball to the cup or relying on his outside shot too much? The answer again is no, but if your going to dish out the criticism on ‘Melo’s D. You should be ready to dish it out to everyone deserving it in every other facet of the game. Point being… Stop the Hate.
As I stated in my disclaimer, this article is not about hating on LBJ, or anyone else, but I felt that Carmelo Anthony was taking a lot of malarkey in an area where there really was no problem (read paragraphs three and four if you need to be reminded). Unfortunately, in a culture that constantly pits one athlete against another, we constantly look for ways to decipher who is a better player. Whether it be statistical, opinionated, or number of championships a player is critiqued by, the point is to Stop the Hate! Since I last checked there is no perfect player in the NBA, or the world for that matter. Take each player for what they are doing within the whole schematic of the game and not for what they could have done better. The bottom line is Team USA needs to win this FIBA Championships and return the USA to the level of basketball it is known for. In the 2004 Olympics the USA was embarrassed because of too many stars all wanting to dominate the lime light, and as we all witnessed, that made for an extremely sour ending. Point being…Stop the Hate in 2006!