Carmelo Anthony is having a banner season, probably his best yet. The Knicks are finally winning a lot of games; they’re at 32-18 and second in the Eastern Conference. He’s averaging 28.6 points per game, which is the second best scoring season of his career. And he’s got a great team around him.
A couple of those teammates of his are rookie (who’s really a veteran since he’s 35) Argentinian point guard, Pablo Prigioni and first-time All-Star (and Olympian) Tyson Chandler. He’s got some praise for those guys when he talked to our own Phillip Barnett.
Here’s what Melo had to say about Prigioni:
”Well, Pablo is a veteran guard, he’s played a lot of basketball in his career. So for him to translate that game into the European game — to our game — it was an easy adjustment for him. Of course, it was up and down for him for a minute, but there are a lot of things for him to get adjusted to.”
Prigioni has been playing some pro ball since 1995 and played in Spain for 13 years. He also played for the Argentine national basketball team and was part of the squad in 2008 that won the Bronze medal. So he’s been around; it’s not his first picnic. Guys like Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola, and Andres Nocioni made easy adjustments to the NBA and they have had some fine careers there. Prigioni, though he may not play as long since he’s 35, will be just fine.
As for Tyson Chandler, here’s what Melo had to say about Chandler making his first All-Star game:
“I’m excited for Tyson, man. This is his first one; he deserves it. Just to see him out here being around the guys, enjoying himself and being around a lot of the guys he’s played with in both the East and the West — I’m more excited for him than myself.”
And as for Chandler’s defense in the All-Star game?
“He’s got to do what he’s known for (laughs). I do want to see him take a few threes, though. He said he’s been working on it.”
It is a midseason exhibition. We know the competitive nature of the game. So while we’ll see Chandler play a little defense, there’s no harm in seeing Chandler take a few threes. What are the coaches going to do? Take him out of the game (hi, Andrew Bynum)? All in all, Chandler should have fun in the game. It’s been a long time coming as he won a championship in 2011 with Dallas and won Defensive Player of the Year in 2012.
More importantly, the Knicks are winning because of Melo, Chandler, and role players like Prigioni. As for the All-Star game, Melo will start while Chandler will come off the bench.