When Carmelo doesn’t even bother to flick his wrist after releasing a jumper, you know it’s trouble. When he laughs after drilling three’s, you know there’s little that the defense can do to hold him down. Anthony was truly in the mythic zone at one point during last night’s game, showing shades of his 33-point quarter. If he was able to get a bucket when L.O. blocked his floater from the first hash at the 5:22 mark, we might be saying that this was the definitive best all-around performance in the playoffs thus far.
It was one of the most efficient performances of the playoffs – ‘Melo made 14-20 shots, 70% FG (4-5 3FG) for 39 points. And on D he was working like a dog, making Kobe run through the equivalent of a football obstacle course to get free.
“It was a lot of fun, he’s a bull down there,” Bryant said. “I am a little out of my weight class, but I’ll give it my best shot.”
There’s no doubt that this game – despite being in a losing effort – belongs in the class of the greatest performances in the ’09 playoffs. Here are the other games in that group:
* LeBron‘s 47-point (15-25 FG, 5 three’s), 12-rebound, 8-assist Game 3 win over Atlanta
* Rajon Rondo‘s 28-point (12-22 FG), 11-assists, 8-rebound Game 6 win over Chicago
Take this game over his three triple-doubles thus far, because he carried Boston to this win, accounting for 6 of Boston’s 13 points in OT.
* Derrick Rose‘s 36-point (12-19 FG), 11-assist Game 1 win over Boston
* Ray Allen‘s 51-point (18-32 FG, 9 three’s) Game 6 loss to Boston
* Ben Gordon‘s 42-point (14-24 FG, 6 three’s) Game 2 loss to Boston
* Brandon Roy‘s 42-point (15-27 FG), 7-rebound Game 2 win over Houston
Roy deserves bonus points for Ron Artest‘s post-game compliment, saying that “Brandon Roy is the best player I’ve played against.”
* Dirk‘s 44-point (14-25 FG), 13-rebound Game 4 win over Denver
* Dwight Howard‘s 23-point, 22-rebound (10 offensive boards), 3-block Game 6 win over Boston
* Kobe‘s 40-point (16-27 FG, 2 three’s), 6-rebound, 3-assist Game 2 win over Houston
* Kobe‘s 40-point (13-28 FG, 2 three’s), 6-rebound, 4-assist Game 1 win over Denver
* Aaron Brooks‘ 34-point (12-20 FG, 4 three’s), 4-assist Game 4 win over L.A.
* Chauncey Billups‘ 36-point (10-15 FG, 8 three’s), 8-assist Game 1 win over New Orleans
* Dwyane Wade‘s 41-point (11-23 FG), 5-rebound, 0-turnover Game 6 win over Atlanta
* Tony Parker‘s 43-point (18-29 FG, 2 three’s), 5-rebound, 3-assist, 4-steal Game 3 loss to Dallas
It’s hard to argue with Ray’s 51-point outing. But I’d say that Chauncey’s Game 1 demolition of the Hornets, LeBron’s 47-point destruction of Atlanta, and even ‘Melo’s effort in last night’s loss are right up there too.