James Harden, Not Carmelo Anthony Deserved Honor, Says Analyst

Carmelo Anthony

Getty Images Carmelo Anthony

On Monday, the NBA named Carmelo Anthony the Western Conference Player of the Week. Over the seven-day span, Anthony averaged 22.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists as the Portland Trail Blazers went 3-0. He shot 57.4 percent from the field, 45.5 percent from beyond the arc and 88.9 percent from the line.

On November 25 against the Chicago Bulls, Melo scored a game-high of 25 points along with two assists and one steal. Two days later against the Oklahoma City Thunder he rang in 19 points, four rebounds and two assists. According to the NBA, his 81.8% shooting from the field marked the highest field goal percentage for a single game with at least two field goal attempts in his career. Anthony has now received this award 19 times in his career.

Though Melo put up incredible numbers, some people were still unimpressed and didn’t think he was worthy of the award. NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith was one of those people and voiced his opinion on ESPN’s First Take.

“Melo did not deserve Offensive Player of the Week, that would be James Harden. When you drop 60 in three quarters that would be you….Luka Doncic, James Harden, one of them should have been Western Conference Player of the Week. I would’ve gone with Harden, personally because I think he’s just phenomenal even though Luka Doncic is no joke. Melo did not deserve it,” Smith said.

The Big Debate

Harden and Doncic also put up incredible numbers for the week ending on Dec. 1. Harden averaged 42 points, six boards and eight assists a game. In the Houston Rockets blowout game against the Atlanta Hawks, Harden sat the entire fourth quarter and still scored 60 points in just 31 minutes. Per USA Today Sports, his teammate Austin Rivers commented on The Beard’s game.

“What he’s doing has not been seen. My man had 60 and didn’t play the fourth quarter. Name another player who could do that right now,” Rivers said.

According to USA Today Sports, Harden has now scored 60 points in four different games, tying him with Michael Jordan for third-most in NBA history. Kobe Bryant has done so six times and Wilt Chamberlain has reached this feat 32 times. Currently, Harden is the only active player in the NBA who has scored 60 points more than once.

Doncic also had an impressive week. He averaged 33.6 points, eight rebounds and 9.3 assists per game as the Mavericks went 2-1. The 20-year-old also helped the Mavericks defeat the Los Angeles Lakers. With this defeat, the Lakers were bumped down from the top seed and had to share the leagues’ best record with the Milwaukee Bucks. They also lost their 10-game win streak. In this game, Doncic averaged 27 points, 10 assists and nine boards.

Melo averaged fewer points than both Doncic and Harden, yet still won Western Conference Player of the Week. This is what got people talking. After posting Doncic’s and Harden’s numbers for last week, ESPN sports analyst Max Kellerman also said Melo didn’t deserve the award. Though Kellerman didn’t think Anthony was worthy of the title, he did credit him for his achievements so far this season.

“Not only is he proving me wrong in terms of the level that he’s still capable of playing at which is very high, but this is the most important thing, he’s doing it in wins for a team that was losing. They [Portland Trail Blazers] weren’t winning as much and then he shows up, puts up big numbers and they’re winning.”

Melo is currently averaging 17.7 points, six boards and 2.2 assists per game and has only played in six games so far this season.

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