Carmelo Anthony led the league in scoring in 2013, and finished second only to Kevin Durant in the race last season.
But in light of the Triangle Offense being installed in New York this year, Anthony believes his days of chasing the scoring title are officially a thing of the past.
From Ian Begley of ESPN New York:
“I don’t think I’ll be the scoring champ. Especially with this system, the way we’re playing — the way that it’s going to be well-balanced, the style of play we’re going to have, I don’t think I’ll have to lead the league in scoring this year,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ practice. …
“I think shots will be fewer,” Anthony said. “I think it will be more effective shots. So if that means taking fewer shots, then that’s what’s going to happen.
“But I really don’t know. We’ve been playing preseason; it’s still early. It’s not until you get in the flow of the game that you start knowing the minutes you’re going to play, knowing the group you’re going to be out there with most of the time. Until you find that rhythm, you’re not going to really understand.”
It’s a positive sign that Anthony is willing to take fewer shots if that’s what will help his team win, and the Triangle Offense is in fact one of equal opportunity; when run correctly, it should provide plenty of open looks for all five players on the floor.
But it also can provide enough options for a primary scorer to be the beneficiary of all of those actions.
As pointed out by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Phil Jackson’s teams have produced plenty of scoring champions in years past. Michael Jordan led the league in scoring seven consecutive times, Kobe Bryant did it twice, and Shaquille O’Neal did it once.
For the Knicks to be successful this season, Anthony will need to score at a similar clip as he has the past few seasons. It may feel like less of a burden with the new offense in place, and he may not need to be the one who takes the shot in every pressure-packed situation if the offense runs the way it should. But Anthony is one of the game’s elite scorers, and the Triangle Offense will only enhance that.