Carmelo Anthony was in one of those grooves on Sunday night. The Atlanta Hawks came to Madison Square Garden and they brought with them the aggressive Jeff Teague (we only see him every few games). When he plays their offense opens up and what you saw was the Hawks shoot 60 percent for the game.
It wasn’t enough. Anthony drained nine threes over the course of the game and hit the game-winning three the old-fashioned way, with a drive around Josh Smith where he drew the foul. J.R. Smith and Amar’e Stoudemire had good games as well, but nothing like ‘Melo.
PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Clippers ready to win West?
It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.
The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).
Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.
Stephen Curry gives high five while his shot is in air (video)