Well that was certainly an interesting week. It 62! didn't 62! start 62! the 62! way 62! I 62! hoped 62!, but 62! it 62! definitely 62! picked 62! up 62! steam 62! towards 62! the 62! end 62! there.
Player of the Week - Carmelo Anthony
Damn you Melo! I said last week that I'd try to spread the wealth and not pick Anthony every week, but what he accomplished on Friday has never been done in Knicks history. I really have little more to add on top of what's already been said about his 62 point night. By now everyone knows he passed King and Kobe. You also know Melo scored the most points ever in a turnover-free game. You may even know that he scored more points in one game than anyone who's ever been perfect from the foul line. I'm more interested in what happened on Sunday, as it gives me a chance to highlight just how spectacular Anthony has been over the course of this entire season.
On Sunday, Melo played in his 41st game, the equivalent of half a season. He has accumulated 1115 points, 367 rebounds and 126 assists. The last player to hit those numbers in his first half-season was Shaquille O'Neal, way back in '99-'00. Lebron James is pretty much unanimously considered the best all-around player in the game, yet he has never gotten to all three of those lofty totals in one half-season. The only other players to get there in the last 25 years: Shaq, David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone, and Charles Barkley. That's some pretty damn good company.
Opposing Player of the Week - Al Jefferson
By rule, any player who matches an accomplishment of the all-powerful Knick killer Mike Dunleavy earns the player of the week distinction. Al Jefferson was dominant Friday night, though of course no one noticed. He scored 25 points to become the second Bobcats player, along with Kemba Walker, to score 25+ points against the Knicks multiple times this season. Jefferson and Walker are the first set of teammates to accomplish this feat in two seasons. In '11-'12 it was done by Lebron James and Dwyane Wade and by Brandon Jennings and Dunleavy.
Honorable Mention - Evan Turner, James Anderson, Michael Carter-Williams, Hollis Thompson
Turner, Anderson, MCW, and Thompson all shot 100% from three point range on Wednesday. It was the first time that four Knicks opponents were perfect from downtown in one game since November 26, 1994, when Larry Johnson, Scott Burrell, Dell Curry and Greg Sutton were all perfect. That foursome featured a player who won rookie of the year and was later traded to the Knicks. I don't think any of us would mine if that bit of history repeated itself.
Tim Hardaway Jr. is better than his father and Kobe Bryant
In his first game ever against Kobe's Lakers, THJR scored 18 points on 7-12 shooting to help lead the Knicks to a seven point victory. In Tim Hardaway Sr.'s first game ever against Kobe's Lakers, he shot just 6-18 from the field for 14 points in a nine point loss for Miami. Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant has played in over 1200 more NBA games than the Knicks' sharpshooting rookie yet still has 18 fewer career points against Kobe's Lakers.
Bluecheese's Rambling Stat of the Week - (WARNING! May not end in a coherent thought)
Carmelo Anthony scored 62 points on Friday, breaking the Knicks single game scoring record, previously held by Bernard King. King scored 60 on December 25, 1984, in a 120-114 loss to the Nets. The Knicks next 120-114 loss came on December 3, 1987, a game in which Knicks reserve guard Rick Carlisle shot 2-11 from the field. On January 3, 2004, Fred Jones became the first reserve coached by Carlisle to ever shoot 2-11 in a game. In that game, a 91-84 Pacers victory over the Hornets, New Orleans reserve center Sean Rooks had 2 points and 2 rebounds. The next game that Rooks had those exact numbers came just over two months later, on March 10, 2004. By that time a member of the Magic, Rooks was a small part of Orlando's 108-99 victory over Washington. The true star of that game was Tracy McGrady, who scored a career high 62 points. McGrady was the last Eastern Conference player to ever score 62 points in a game...until Melo did it on Friday Night!
Last Week in Jared Jeffries History
On January 26, 2002, Jeffries scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help lead Indiana to an 88-57 rout over 9th ranked Illinois. Jeffries made one of the Hoosiers' school-record 17 three pointers that night. The 31 point victory was the largest margin of victory Indiana had over a ranked opponent in Jeffries's two year college career.
Last Week in Jared Jeffries Shot Tracker History
The Knicks Did It First
There were a few non-Knicks stats that would have been fairly impressive last week, had the Knicks not accomplished them first:
1. On Sunday, Timofey Mozgov was a perfect 5-5 from the field and 4-4 from the foul line in the Nuggets 125-117 victory in Sacramento. The last player before Mozgov to be perfect from the field and line with that many attempts in a road win: Tyson Chandler, who was 6-6 from the field and 7-7 from the line in a 111-107 win over the Bucks on April 11, 2012.
2. On Saturday, Anthony Tolliver was scoreless in 26 minutes off the bench in an 89-87 loss to the Bulls. The last reserve before Tolliver to go scoreless in 26+ minutes: Jason Kidd, in April of last season. Coincidentally, that game was also a tight loss to the Bulls (118-111 in OT.)
3. On Friday, Tobias Harris grabbed 20 rebounds and made a three pointer in Orlando's victory over the Lakers. The last player before Harris with 20 rebounds and a made three pointer in one game: Carmelo Anthony, one week earlier against the Clippers
4. On Thursday, the Lakers lost to the Heat 109-102. The last team before the Lakers to score exactly 102 points against the Heat: The Knicks, two weeks earlier. (There were only two games played Thursday night, cut me some slack here.)
5. On Wednesday, Rodney Stuckey scored 20 points, the fourth straight game he hit that mark. The last Eastern Conference reserve before Stuckey to score 20+ in four straight games: J.R. Smith, from March 23 to March 29 last season.
6. On Tuesday, Rudy Gay scored 41 points in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans. The last player before Gay to score at least 41 against a team in the first year of a new name: Carmelo Anthony, who scored 45 last year against the Brooklyn Nets.
Movie of the Week - 61*
Unfortunately, there's never been a movie called 62, so we'll have to make do with this underrated film whose title is the same number as the second most points ever scored by a player at Madison Square Garden.
Let's see if I can ramble my way into making this one work:
On Friday, Carmelo Anthony scored 62 points to break Kobe Bryant's old MSG scoring record of 61. When I type in "62" into the IMDB search engine, the first thing that pops up is the 62nd episode of the television show The Electric Company. One of the stars of that show, in one of his earliest roles, was Morgan Freeman. Freeman later starred, and was nominated for an Oscar, in Driving Miss Daisy, the winner for Best Picture at the 62nd Academy Awards. The host of the show was Billy Crystal...who would go on to direct 61*.
Yeah, that'll work.