We all know Carmelo Anthony is a supremely gifted scorer and arguably the most prolific isolation player in the league. After a season primarily suiting up at the power forward spot, Anthony knew he needed to add another dimension to his game amongst the big boys in the painted area.
One aspect to the box score Anthony rarely receives credit is for his work on the glass. This season, the 29-year old is averaging almost two more rebounds than his career average and a career-best 8.2 boards per game.
“After last year, I knew we played small. So, in order for us to get out in transition and get easy baskets, I had to rebound the basketball, so that was an emphasis of mine coming into the season,” Anthony revealed.
Anthony is the top rebounder when examining the small forwards in the NBA and second to P.J. Tucker in the offensive rebounds per game category. As a power forward, Anthony is tied with Paul Millsap for 12th in the league. On a team that has dealt with major injuries to frontcourt players, the significant rebounding production from Anthony is a necessary component, especially for a New York squad that ranks 27th in rebounds per game.
“It’s been great. It’s something that he has wanted to do ever since last year. He said he was going to come in and be a more aggressive rebounder. You know, he can score with the best of them, if not the best, he’s just adding a couple more things to his game that he always has but just adding a little more effort to his rebounding,” Raymond Felton acknowledged.
SportsVU data tells us that Anthony grabs 71.9 percent of rebounds per chance. This impressive number is slightly above the league leader in rebounds, DeAndre Jordan.
“It really helps because he generates extra shots; he’s a big body and a force down there, which opens it up for a guy like myself,” Tyson Chandler stated.
In a relatively injury free season, Anthony has played 73 games while enduring the physical rigors of playing on the frontline. He’s the second-best scorer in the league this season next to Kevin Durant, hits at a 41percent clip from the 3-point line, and snatches over eight rebounds per game, three metrics rarely accomplished by elite NBA players.
“It helps us tremendously, especially when he can play the 3 or the 4,” Iman Shumpert explained. “He’s rebounding from either position; it’s a big help for us.”
A clear indication of Anthony’s focus on the rebounding aspect of the game is the dramatic increase in double-doubles this season. Through 73 games, the 7-time All-Star has registered 22 double-doubles, a staggering jump from the 10 he posted during the 2012-13 campaign.
As much attention as Anthony receives for his spectacular offensive skill set, he should earn some praise for his work on the glass.