The Knicks have been leaning pretty hard on Carmelo Anthony in fourth quarters.

How 'bout some stats to digest with your evening biscuits and whey? Jared Zwerling, whose Knicks coverage so far this season has been fantastic, rounded up some quarter-by-quarter scoring figures from the Knicks' first eight games. The order of the leader board isn't surprising at all-- Carmelo Anthony leads the team in the first and fourth quarters, while Amar'e Stoudemire produces the most points in the middle two quarters (when Melo tends to get his rest and/or sit because of foul trouble). What stands out-- though perhaps it's not all that surprising-- is the sheer drop-off from Melo to the next guy in fourth quarter scoring. Behold:

Fourth Quarter
Anthony -- 10.1 points
Shumpert -- 3.3 points
Chandler -- 3.0 points
Stoudemire -- 2.7 points
Fields -- 1.6 points

Recall that Melo pumped out a 17-point fourth quarter in the opening day win over the Celtics, and also scored 22 in the final frame of that miserable Bobcats loss, so that's probably where he gets a boost in this small sample size. Those 10.1 per, Zwerling says, put Melo atop the entire league in fourth quarter scoring.

The Knicks have actually done pretty well in fourth quarters this season (at least off the top of my head. I am way too relaxed to look up stats right now), but Melo averaging 10 points and the next-best guys averaging 3 apiece seems less than ideal. Last night's game showed how much deadlier the Knicks are when they spread the shots around rather than count on Melo to thrive in isolation (though, to be fair, he's pretty good at it).

Anyway, this isn't a huge deal, but it's worth noting, and it's probably something Mike D'Antoni would like to adjust as the season progresses. Or maybe not. I have no idea. Maybe he'll see this and be like "I SPECIFICALLY TOLD NONE OF YOU BESIDES MELO TO SCORE EVER" and start throwing nickels at Iman Shumpert or something. One never really knows if the people who actually influence these things share our opinions.

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