You can't stop Carmelo Anthony, and you can't even hope to contain him. At least that's how it's been for the last two games. The Knicks' star forward scored 50 points on Tuesday against the Heat and then followed it up with 40 points against the Hawks the next night. He poured in those 90 points over two games on a combined 35-of-53 shooting (66.0%) from the field and an outrageous 76.1 percent true shooting. If he scores 40-plus points against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, he can do something no Knicks player has accomplished in nearly 30 years:
If Carmelo gets 40 pts again tonight, he'd be the first Knick with 40+ pts in 3 straight games since Bernard King in 1984— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 5, 2013
It's not crazy to think that Melo can do it, either. Since returning from knee issues he has posted 20-plus points in all nine contests and 30-plus on four occasions. Heck, he owns a 28.1 points per game average for the year. He has fared well against the Bucks over his career -- 26.4 PPG, 45.5 FG percentage over 24 games -- and Milwaukee's defense has crumbled since the trade deadline (105.8 pts / 100 poss allowed).
Luc Mbah a Moute has been a very effective on-ball defender when matched up against Melo, and the details are in this post on Brew Hoop, but this game isn't about the defense of Mbah a Moute or even Marquis Daniels. It comes to down how hot Anthony can stay from mid-range zones. He's hit 21-of-33 shots from mid-range over the past two games, and when he does that he's utterly un-guardable. Here's a look at his recent performance, via NBA.com/Stats:
How can you guard someone who's been so excellent from every area on the floor?
Bernard King managed to keep up his hot shooting for three games in 1984 -- he scored 40 against Cleveland, 45 against Detroit and 52 against Indiana over the span of four days -- before he fell flat in his fourth try (18 points on 7-of-20 FGs). If Melo can conquer the Bucks he would have a chance to break King's mark from 1984 against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.
The Knicks have won 10 straight games and are fighting to keep the No. 2 seed in the East, so it's fair to ask why the team would bother to feed him for the record. But with Melo so hot he's the team's best scoring option, so it's just as fair to wonder "why not?"