Displaying his elite scoring ability and silky-smooth shooting stroke, former Orange and current New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony did not disappoint the fans in his return to the Carrier Dome.
In front of more than 11,000 fans, Anthony scored 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting while grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing out 3 assists in just over 27 minutes of playing time as the Knicks won their second preseason game of the year, 84-77 over the Philadelphia 76ers.
After playing just 15 minutes Monday in the loss to the Toronto Raptors, Anthony and Head Coach Derek Fisher were on the same page when it came to how much Anthony would play tonight.
“It was a collective effort [on playing 27 minutes],” Anthony said. “He came to me last night knowing we had a back-to-back and figured out exactly what we wanted to do.
“But, you know, any time I can play here I’m willing to do it.”
On the court for more than 10 minutes in the third quarter alone, Anthony caught fire, scoring 10 points which seemed to wake the crowd - filled with mostly Knicks No. 7 jersey’s - up quickly after halftime.
“It was a great atmosphere; great fans,” Anthony said. “Obviously it wasn’t like it was two years ago [when his jersey was retired], but they were able to get prepared for this game, so it was great.”
While Anthony was able to enjoy his time On the Hill, he and the rest of the Knicks are still working out some kinks on the court. Playing in their new triangle offense under Head Coach Derek Fisher, Anthony said that it’s still taking time, but he likes the way things are progressing in the preseason.
“We’ve made strides,” Anthony said. “We’ve gotten better each day, and everybody’s been receptive to it [the triangle], but we all need to learn it together; you can’t do it on your own.”
But, as the calendar moves closer to the start of the 2014-15 season, the big question surround ‘Melo right now is his relationship with Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim.
In his new autobiography, Boeheim released Anthony’s grades from his first semester of his freshman year, which has raisedmore than a few eyebrows. However, Anthony quickly shot down any reports of an issue with Boeheim.
“I talked to him [Boeheim],” Anthony said. “He explained how he was saying it and why he said it, so I don’t have any problem with it.”