New York Knicks Rumors: Carmelo Anthony Doesn’t Want to Play Power Forward Next Season
Carmelo Anthony told reporters that he would prefer to stay at small forward this season. (Photo: REUTERS)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony isn't exactly known as the most selfless player around. And based on his comments after a team practice earlier this week, that perception isn't likely to go away anytime soon.
Anthony told reporters that he would prefer to stay at the wing this season, despite his strong play at the power forward position last year.
"Right now, we have guys in that position. We want to keep it like that," Anthony said, according to Ian Begley of ESPN New York. "I'd rather play my natural position then go down there and play the 4, the 5 and things that I don't really want to do. So with the guys that we have now, I find that we're definitely that much more effective."
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But despite Anthony's comments, the Syracuse alum actually put up solid numbers at the power forward position last season. According to ESPN, Anthony averaged 29.8 points per game in April while filling in at the position for an injured Amar's Stoudemire. He was also named the NBA's Player of the Month.
In the 13 games last season where Anthony started in place of Stoudemire at power forward, he averaged 30 points per 36 minutes of play, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Meanwhile, he averaged just 21.8 points per 36 minutes of play in the 42 games he started at small forward. The Knicks' offensive rating when Howard played power forward was 108.9, compared to 100.4 when he was at small forward.
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Obviously, the fact that Anthony played relatively few games at power forward compared to small forward skews these stats a bit. But still, it's apparent that Anthony played some of his best ball last season at power forward.
If Anthony logs more playing time at the position, it may come at Stoudemire's expense. Begley notes that the two could play at the same time if Stoudemire moves to center while Anthony is at power forward. But, as he states, this could hurt the Knicks defensively.
Anthony and Stoudemire are the team's two most talented players. They may not work well together all of the time, but the Knicks are better off having them both on the floor at the same time as much as possible.
But after Anthony's success at power forward last season, it will be hard for the coaches to keep him solely at the wing. So, Anthony may have to show that he can truly be a team player and play power forward even if he doesn't want to.
Whether that actually happens is anybody's guess.
Hat tip to Pro Basketball Talk.