‘Melo has nothing on this Anthony

MIAMI — No, your ears did not play tricks on you. The crowd in Miami was indeed chanting “M-V-P” when Joel Anthony went to the free throw line Monday.

“I mean, wow,” said the Sixers’ Thaddeus Young.

A player known to pass the ball when he’s right under the basket has made his mark in this series with defense and rebounding, which is all the Heat ask him to do, which is all he’s capable of doing. He’s a 6-foot-9 tendon, bouncing and running around and being a pest to the Sixers in the paint.

“Joel Anthony was outstanding,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, “We’ve always valued him more than other teams would because of what he can do defensively and how he can change a game with his energy, his athleticism and his diligence. He’s arguably the hardest worker we’ve ever had in the organization. You’re happy for a guy like that because he earns everything he gets.”

Yes, good for Jo-el. Good for a backup center. Good for a guy who missed an easy alley-oop in Game 2 with nobody around him. Good for someone who elicits snickers whenever the ball finds its way into his hands. And especially good for a fourth-year player who grew up in Canada and didn’t even play basketball until he reached high school.

Anthony blocked three shots Monday and grabbed six rebounds, which aren’t massive numbers, but enough to cause his coach to say he played “a great, great game.” If you look at sheer numbers, then it wasn’t so great. Look beyond the figures, however, and you’ll realize how often Anthony either altered shots or made the Sixers think twice about taking shots.

“They defend the paint as well as anyone,” said Sixers coach Doug Collins. “Joel Anthony is a big part of that.”

As for the MVP chants? It’s becoming contagious, because now, Anthony is hearing it in the Heat locker room, most teasingly from Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

“I do provide energy and sometimes that’s overlooked,” Anthony said. “It’s nice to know the fans appreciate that. I’m happy the fans are involved in the game.”

Nobody should snatch the Defensive Player of the Year trophy from Dwight Howard and ship it south, but in his own way, Anthony is doing something defensively to get a reaction from the crowd. A reaction that’s quite different than when he goes up for a shot.

26 Comments

  1. Randy orton says:

    finally joel anthony has got the recognition he deserves he is only 6-9 going up against 7 footers and now dwight howard and he does an incredible job. i can not wait till haslem comes back to see anthony,haslem and bosh up in the frontcourt.

  2. Miami 316 says:

    Chicago Bulls, the 6-time NBA Champions, got these players in their historic runs:

    1. Jordan
    2. Pippen
    3. Grant/Rodman
    4. Paxson/Kerr

    Miami Heat has players of similar styles:

    1. Wade
    2. James
    3. Bosh/Anthony/Haslem
    4. Bibby

    The only thing missing is a Hall of Fame caliber coach.

  3. ROSE THE HEAT IS COMING!!! says:

    i bet you STUPID…if the HEAT got the ring you and SEKOU SMITH will resign in your job…

  4. ROSE THE HEAT IS COMING!!! says:

    stupid SHAUN POWELL (Anthony is doing something defensively to get a reaction from the crowd) it’s not for ANTHONY but it’s for you,your posting something to get some attentions from the FANS..if i were anthony i will dunk your head to the rim together with SEKOU SMITH you both are a pair of idiots…

  5. Nisha- Let's Talk says:

    Joel Anthony has been amazing in the two games that they have played so far! He’s a big reason why the sixers haven’t put up big numbers in the paint as usual.. Now if he can carry that same momentum into Game 3 in Philli, then things will be good.. Miami will surely go 3-0 in the series if he still plays the boards like he’s been dcing, and of course, the BIG 3 show up :) Nightmares in Philli? I see them comming….

  6. Fastbreak says:

    Props to this guy, but don’t let success slow you, still long ways to go!

  7. MC says:

    I relaxe when Joel Anthony gets on the court…he is a great defensive player!

  8. UD-WADE says:

    But reallt Joel hand up is the best defensive player of Miami… For me the untouchable and untradable of this team should be WADE – JAMES – HASLEM – BOSH – JOEL – CHALMERS – MILLER (still waiting to see Miller at full strengh, giving those 3s like hotdogs)

  9. UD-WADE says:

    Yeah Joel is a Rock… i love this guy, he plays hard and simple. Of late he is now trying to score more… Finally it was a good thing when my men Haslem (UD) went down cuz before that we were all relying on him and Joel to do the bad job… now every one is invole… cant wait to get the second utlimate warrior in HEAT history back… By the way the first for me is ALonzo MOURNING. But i still want Bosh to get a bit nastier on defense… when he go for a block, i always have the felling that he jumped 1 second too late. Lebron in now playing better off the ball.. he gotta do it more and more.

  10. Jason Raymes says:

    This guy plays phenomenal fundamental team defense, but goodness it is hilarious watching him on offense.. catching the ball is an adventure w/ Joel Anthony!

  11. James Tan says:

    thank you to jo-el for helping miami heat so far.. feels like alonso mourning back in the house..

  12. Zeeshan says:

    he is a great player, plays with a lot of energy. he deserves this. He also likes to say “you know” a lot. I noticed he says “you know” 35 times in the video.

  13. Adrixe says:

    its nice that the fans are giving this guy the appreciation that he truly deserves! I hate miami but I love how joel anthony plays with sheer effort! great pick up for the heat!

  14. Jacelo Calitis says:

    I salute his hardwork and persevirance….guys like that is big factor for a team 2 win…defence is the best offense….GO MIami Crush the Lakers ……

  15. Hugo says:

    Finally somebody recognize the hard work, I was in the game and even in previous game I used to give him MVP chants and people thought i was crazy…..true fans knows the value of this guy….he is the Kendrick Perkins of the heat, he does not need to score just be a blue collar worker……he fights every possesion and give us around 6 to 7 extra possesions. He always blocked the shots and keep them inbound, he has a really good feet movement, and setting up screens there is no better player than Joel in the heat, also in pick and roll defense he is excellent. People laught because he career high is like 16 points but he bring so much to the team. In a couple of year he will learn how to position himself when lebron or wade drive to the basket so he can get easy dunks.
    Keep working hard Joel….

  16. Chase says:

    Sorry, its chase i read it wrong sorry!!

  17. Chase says:

    Hey, Shaun Powell why does it matter if he grew up in Canada. He doesn’t have the best hands but he’s better than you!…………. Yeah there will be a bunch of people trash talking me so lets get the straight, I DON’T CARE. Joel Anthony M-V-P

  18. Harith says:

    Especially good for a fourth-year player who grew up in Canada? LOL! Good one Mark! 2nd that!

  19. Allen Iverson is this year MVP for real whats ood everyone the truth will set you free

  20. Bubble Breaker says:

    You can tell Joel hasn’t been in front of the camera too much, but good for him he is one those guys who doesn’t get enough credit for what he does.

    • prix says:

      I expect that Joel Anthony should have atleast voted in the DPOY.. What he does is out of the score sheet, He will be a great factor for the Heat road to the finals this year!!!

  21. mark says:

    What does growing up in Canada have to do with anything?

    • naiym says:

      I know Right…what’s even funnier, is basketball has it’s orgins in canada. yes it’s more prevalent and WE DOMINATES it in this here United States…but still it would have been more pertinent if he were from …say….. Sri Lanka.

  22. Gary says:

    Shaun Powell you are the MAN! I’ve been waiting for someone to recognize this guy’s efforts. Any Heat fan knows that Anthony is their secret weapon on D right now. It’s ashame he didn’t play more minutes earlier this season because he is really proving his worth to the team. Now if only he can convert some boards he would be a solid player. Still I can’t wait to see him and Haslem tearing it up in the paint! Great article.