Thursday, May 24, 2012
Carmelo Anthony & Tyson Chandler Receive High All-NBA Team Honors
The NBA revealed the selections for its three "All-NBA" teams (as voted by the media) earlier this afternoon.
Though players like M.V.P LeBron James and Kevin Durant highlighted the "All-NBA" First Team, and both Andrew Bynum and Tony Parker paced the Second Team, it was the Knicks' own Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler who represented New York, being honored as Third Team selections.
While making such a team is a major accomplishment in itself, this same distinction also suggests that Anthony is not (or at the very least, was not this season) a top-ten player in the NBA, as our friend Alan Hahn of MSG notes.
Anthony's 22.6 points per game was the second-lowest average of his career. He struggled earlier in the season to get into a flow offensively under former coach Mike D'Antoni, and was subsequently blamed by many for the coach's sudden resignation.
Nevertheless, Anthony began to thrive as the season progressed and new coach Mike Woodson featured him on offense in isolation. With Woodson in charge, the forward helped propel the Knicks to an 18-6 record down the stretch and averaged 23.5 during that span. Had he averaged that the entire season, Anthony would have hovered nowhere near career-low numbers.
What matters most is that the Knicks' star turned up the heat when the pressure was on. He was named the NBA's "Eastern Conference Player of the Month" during the season's final month of April. The team soared to an 8-4 record in the month.
In addition to the 22.6 points, Anthony also averaged 6.3 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 3.6 assists (the second-highest assist average of his career) over the course of the season.
Though this was the fifth All-NBA Team selection of Anthony's career, it was the first for Chandler, who truly had a deserving and solid all-around productive season. Already named the 2011-2012 "Defensive Player of the Year," Chandler tallied 60 total points (5 points are awarded for a First Team vote, 3 for a Second Team vote, and 1 for a Third Team vote), edging out Blazers big man LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with 55 points.
Also noteworthy is the fact that Chandler received four First Team votes as well, tying Rajon Rondo for the most First Team votes on the Third Team. Anthony was only awarded one First Team vote.
Of course, Chandler changed the defensive culture in New York, helping rise the Knicks up enough to become one of the most efficient defensive teams in the entire league. While such an elevated effort has his fingerprints all over it, Chandler's impressive season didn't stop there.
The 2011 NBA champion also led the NBA in field goal percentage, shooting a career-high 67.9% from the field. The percentage was the third-highest in league history. Following the Knicks' first-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat, Chandler vowed to improve his offensive game. With such a sweet touch and his ability to finish underneath the basket, being more aggressive on offense would certainly only help his team next season.
Chandler averaged 11.3 points, 9.9 points, and 1.4 blocks per game during the campaign.
Such a high honor for the big man may be enough for Knicks fans to cope easier with the fact that he was only named to the NBA's All-Defensive Second Team, despite being recognized as the league's top defensive individual player for this past season. The media votes for the "Defensive Player of the Year," whereas coaches vote for the All-NBA defensive squads.