Thursday, August 5, 2010

Carmelo Anthony: Misconceptions

I recently took a hard look at some of Carmelo Anthony's numbers, as it was brought to my attention by Noam Schiller that Carmelo Anthony's rebounding numbers have not been steadily improving, but they've actually declined some. I started out with doubts about this, having looked at Melo's numbers when a hilarious argument broke out about Andre Iguodala being a better player than Melo.

Anyway, I thought that my doubts had been made legitimate when I saw that Anthony's rebounding numbers in the 09-10 season had only regressed by .2 rebounds per game from 08-09 (from 6.8 in 08-09 to 6.6 in 09-10), since that's a minuscule change not worth noting. It was then pointed out to me (again by Noam) that Melo's rebounding percentage had decreased from 11.5 in 08-09 to 9.9 in 09-10. Among small forwards in 08-09, that 11.5 TRB% mark puts Melo at #4 in the league among swingmen who played 40 or more games and 30+ minutes per game, trailing only the likes of LeBron James, Mike Miller (!), and Gerald Wallace (the guy they call Crash because of his tenacity). His rate in 07-08 was slightly worse, but still great.

So, does that drop to 9.9 TRB% last year knock Melo way down the list in rebounding rate? Turns out that it doesn't. Using the same parameters, Melo was #7 in the league last season in TRR/ TRB% (same thing), which is well above average.

While I was researching this information, it came to my attention that Carmelo is known as a jumpshooter (and credited with being very good from mid-range). I assumed this to be true, mostly from anecdotal evidence. According to, Carmelo Anthony actually had the 2nd most attempts at the rim of any player last season (outdone only by rookie Tyreke Evans). This is the guy known to not have the "same drive as D-Wade," as well as being called soft, and he gets to the rim more than anyone in the league (other than one great rookie) and is one of the best rebounders at his position.

The mid-range shooter moniker isn't totally incorrect, however, as he shot the most attempts at 16-23 feet of all swingmen (same parameters as used earlier), making just above league average at 40%. He also shot the 4th most attempts from 10-15 feet of swingmen with those same parameters.

By no means am I Carmelo fan, as I feel the main misconception about Carmelo Anthony is that he's an elite player. According to numbers I've seen as far as his TS% etc., and from what bloggers have told me about Tom Haberstroh's recent piece on Melo (which I can't read, thanks to ESPN Insider), Carmelo Anthony is an average shooter that can get to the rim (and shoot slightly below average when he gets there, among swingmen) and gets a lot of attempts. This isn't to say that he's not a good player, it's just as far as the percentages go, he's average.

Nevertheless, I found the numbers pretty shocking, as compared to what most people think about Carmelo Anthony's style as a player.


  1. I really think it all depends on what you would classify as "elite." Is Melo a top 5 player in this league? No, he's not.

    But is he a top 10-20? I'm inclined to say yes. At the expense of using cliches such as "streak shooter," and "pure scorer," I really do think Melo is one of the three to five most dangerous offensive players in this league, right along with Kobe, LeBron, Steve Nash and Chris Paul. If that makes him an elite player, then that is what he is.

    Either way, this was a nice read.

  2. Melo is Paul Pierce. New era, so there are some differences; but nonetheless, write that down.

    When he's on his game, he's got a lot of Chuck in him, too. PHX style Chuck, mano a mano style, work-you-any-which-way-in-the-extended-post Chuck.