I would guesstimate that 90% of the time when a player scores 36 points, they had a pretty damn good game. After all, 36 is about 7 more than the leading scorer averaged this season, and in general it's just difficult to score that many and have a bad game.
With that said, Carmelo Anthony's 36 point performance in Game 4 against the Celtics was absolutely the exception to that rule. Melo shot 10-35 from the field, 0-7 from three-point range and 16-20 from the free throw line, an amazingly inefficient game that ended up costing the Knicks a chance at the sweep.
So just how bad was Melo's performance? Well using basketball reference's play finder I took a look at other players that have chucked up 35+ shots from the field and 20+ free throws in the same game. The results were amazing.
Amazingly enough, the other ten players on here averaged 62.4 points per game in these performances, with 8 of the 10 going for at least 60.
With J.R. Smith out you knew that Carmelo would take a huge percentage of the scoring load, but it would have been hard for anyone to predict just how terrible a job he was going to do with the additional opportunities.
Also it should be noted that Brandon Bass deserves a ton of credit for this. Until he fouled out of the game with four minutes remaining in regulation, Bass was doing a fantastic job of keeping Anthony in front of him. Bass' only real issue was foul trouble, and his penchant for biting on Anthony's head fake.
For the Celtics to have any chance in Game 5 the team will have to do a similar job on Carmelo again. Maybe not 10-35, but bottling up the NBA's leading scorer is essential for the C's if they're going to come out of MSG with a win.
Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13 Michael Dyer 4/28/2013 06:38:00 PM Tweet Edit