KD On Scoring Title: Melo Can Have It

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – With 90 points in his last two games, Carmelo Anthony is a making a hard charge at Kevin Durant, who can become the first player to win four consecutive scoring titles since Michael Jordan won seven in a row 20 years ago.

Entering tonight’s Oklahoma City Thunder game against the San Antonio Spurs (10:30 p.m. ET, TNT), Durant leads the league at 28.3 ppg. The sizzling Anthony has climbed to 28.1.

How does Durant feel about this little development?

“He can have it,” Durant said flatly after OKC’s Thursday morning shootaround.

In the nine games that Anthony has played since missing three in a row and six of eight with a bothersome right knee, he’s been lethal, averaging 31.4 ppg and shooting 48.1 percent overall and 40 percent from 3-point range. To no coincidence, the Knicks are riding a 10-game winning streak.

“I mean the stuff he’s doing right now, every time he touches the ball it looks like it’s going to go in,” Durant said. “He’s having a nice run right now and his confidence is high. I’m sure he’s going to take over. If it happens, cool.”

Anthony’s scoring blitz is even more spectacular over the last five games: 33.6 ppg, 52.5 percent from the floor and 52.4 percent from beyond the arc. He poured in 50 Tuesday against the Heat without LeBron James (fourth in scoring at 26.9 ppg) and Dwyane Wade, and followed up with 40 Wednesday night against Atlanta.

OKC and New York both have eight games left. Thunder coach Scott Brooks has already said he has no plans to rest his starters down the stretch as they battle San Antonio for the West’s No. 1 seed. The Knicks are locked in a struggle for the East’s No. 2 seed with the Indiana Pacers.

“I coached Carmelo for three years (as an assistant coach at Denver), that’s probably not something that he wants,” Brooks said of the scoring title, which would be the first of Anthony’s 10-year career. “He wants the championship just as much as KD does. But it is exciting. It’s always exciting when you get down to the last week of the season — who gets the scoring title, who gets the rebounding title? Those are minor things. Kevin’s worried about the big picture.

“But, it would be cool; definitely would be a great opportunity to be his age and have it four straight years.”

It would be historic.

Durant can win four scoring titles in his first six seasons and before he turns 25 (which he will in September). He’s already the first to capture three consecutive scoring titles since Jordan did it in his return from baseball from 1995-98. Only Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain can claim scoring titles in more than three consecutive seasons. Chamberlain also won it seven times from 1959-66.

“Don’t get me wrong, I never want to take stuff like that for granted, but if it happens, it happens,” Durant said. “I’m just going to play my game. I’m not going to force it too much and think about it too much and try to get it. But if it’s meant to be then it will happen.”

Durant is also shooting for a most enviable double-double of sorts as the first player ever to win the scoring title and join the exclusive 50-40-90 club — 50 percent shooting from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the arc (Larry Bird, Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki are the others and Bird and Nash are the only ones to do it multiple times).

A down tick in Durant’s scoring and shooting since the All-Star break — 26.1 ppg, 47 percent overall and 35.1 percent on 3s — recently put him in jeopardy of dipping below the first two thresholds. But he’s gained a bit of wiggle room over the last six games while averaging 27.8 ppg on 51.4 percent shooting and 52.9 percent from beyond the arc. Entering tonight’s game, Durant’s percentages line up like this: 50.5, 41 and 90.8.

The long and lanky Durant is the far more efficient scorer compared to Anthony. Durant has played in 13 more games, yet has taken eight fewer total shots than Anthony (1,322 to 1,330) — about four fewer attempts per game — and has made 78 more (668 to 590).

Anthony’s 44.4 percent overall shooting this season is a notch below his career average (45.5 percent), but his 37.8 percent from 3-point range would tie for the second-highest mark of his career.

18 Comments

  1. fred sugcawan says:

    melo stands without great companions and with flattering injuries, much more genuine to say that he deserved it than the others who had. he shapes his own image personally, rather than the other leading contenders.

  2. [...] Durant has won the past three scoring titles and would equal Michael Jordan’s mark of four consecutive if he can edge out Anthony but he is quoted as saying that Melo can have it.  http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2013/04/04/kd-on-scoring-title-melo-can-have-it/ [...]

  3. Abdul786 says:

    Melo and kd are great scores but nowhere near the talent Lebron James is. The things Lebron does on the court nobody in the history of the nba has been asked or was able to do. He plays pg, creates plays for the entire team, scores, hits 3’s, makes the clutch shots, and this is only offense. On the other end he shuts down whoever he’s guarding, chases down to make big ESPN highlight blocks, defends anyone on the court 1-5.

    Cmon 27 games in a row??? He’s simply the best and the real MVP.

  4. Hardenfan says:

    I think Harden deserves to be the Most Valuable Player this year. Harden is the biggest difference maker to me this year. He became a superstar in his own right & is one of the main reasons Rockets are going to the playoffs. If not Harden, I think Durant also deserves it too. Durant has played every game (not trying to get rest & sit out), unselfish, & has improved alot this year. Both great guys and fun to watch.

  5. Henrik Jensen says:

    Tony Parker for MVP !!

  6. tanibanana says:

    I wish he’ll get his 4th scoring champ title this season..
    but for next year, I’ll rather see him get his 1st MVP than 5th scoring champ..
    although a double whammy would be awesome..

  7. Mk18 says:

    Please KD Get That Title as u Should, This Balanced Game KD Does is way more Efficient and Deserving then Melos. Everybody can win titles by Racking up Shot After Shot without thinkin, at least thats what he did the first 50 Games otS. His Late Rush is very nice, but in Case of The Title, Not quite Deserving. Ima Go with KD Here. Get Em

  8. Shane Bartlett says:

    Jose Calderon is also in the 50-40-90 for his 2007-2008 season, and is on pace to do it again this year. When you right a blog on NBA.com, you should probably know what your talking about.

    • Nick says:

      Calderon’s percentages were fine but he didn’t make enough free throws to qualify. He made 109 but the minimum to qualify is 125.

  9. Fats says:

    What interests me the most is the fact that KD is leading the league in scoring as well as FT%. So you don’t want him to score, but you don’t want to send him to the line… pick your poison…

  10. Ben says:

    I have been a bit concerned in parts of this season that KD is so focussed on the 50-40-90 that it’s been detrimental to the team. But I will be completely gutted if he doesn’t achieve it, and the scoring title. Historic and so many levels. And yet, not good enough for MVP. James/Durant should be considered the new Bird/Magic… I hope we see several finals matchups yet.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      how is shooting a high % detrimental to the team? if anything it would raise his awareness to take better shots. now focusing on the scoring title would be detrimental as he would be forcing the issue, right now OKC is rolling, just got to get k-mart playing well

  11. newyorksteelo says:

    I hope Melo wins the Scoring Title and the MVP Award this year. He’s completely changes the Knicks and made them contenders. Much deserved.

    • Chris says:

      I remember reading an interesting debate in regards to Lebron and his own deserving of the MvP. The argument was that if you took Lebron from the Heat, they would still be a successful franchise (though likely not a championship contender) where areas removing someone like Kobe from the Lakers would destroy the franchise. The argument stated while Lebron is the best player in the league there should be a best player Title than as MvP Is meant for those who are most valuable to their team. Not sure what to make of it but what you said just reminded me of that argument.

      • uoykcuf says:

        same as nash, if you took nash out of his old phoneix squad. there’s still amare and matrix, Not championship material but still competitive so what’s your point?

    • OKCKD35 says:

      that’s not going to happen, KD beats Melo is almost every stat, and we all know the media will give the MVP to LeBron

  12. Adam Speilberg says:

    With the stuff Melo’s doing right now, every time he touches the ball, I’m wishing he’d touch mine as well

    .- KD