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10. CARMELO ANTHONY
Led by Mike Woodson persuading Carmelo to play the four spot this season while remaking the team’s offense in the mold of his best player, the Knicks were a Broadway success. ‘Melo’s league-leading per-game average of nearly 29 points hasn’t been because of a personal transformation; he’s still the jump shot-shooting savant with the step-back and step-through up his sleeve. That grew old in Denver and stagnant last season in New York. However, this season, Anthony opened excitement because now he forces an opponent’s hand by choosing whether a big man or smaller wing will check him. That, in turn, can make for awkward defensive strategies that open the floor for everyone else â€” or, just ‘Melo. One of our favorite memories was watching Orlando stick â€” almost as if on a dare â€” Josh McRoberts on him for nearly an entire fourth quarter in January. With glee, Anthony finished with 40 points.
9. DeMARCUS COUSINS
It’s an absolute shame that Cowbell Kingdom has become a wasteland of bad decisions on and off the court just a decade after Vlade, C-Webb, White Chocolate and Adelman made the Kings the best show in the whole league. But while we don’t blame Sacramento fans for staying away from the evening news’ latest report on the team, there’s no excuse for not watching DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins get 17.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. That’s not the whole truth, though. His fuse is as short as his talent is limitless. Whenever the Kings are on, it’s hard to know if he’ll blow up in a good or bad way. Whatever happens, he usually leaves you shaking your head.