It's interesting that I am here writing about a skill that, to me, has seemed to vacate a lot of basketball gyms and arenas across the country. The mid-range game. From youth leagues all the way up to the professional ranks, everyone these days wants to settle behind that arc and bomb away. In the NBA especially it's either a long three ball or a driving, swooping, awing dunk, layup, reverse or dipsy doodle. Oh yes, and the occasional free throw. But, if there is one player that I've seen in the last few years who actually makes his living shooting the mid range jumper, it is indeed Carmelo Anthony.
Since Anthony's days with the Syracuse Orange, I've followed him. The first reason was because my hometown icon Gerry McNamara would be the starting point guard on that National Championship team. Besides the point, 'Melo and his game began to grow on me and I now realize he really is a dynamic scorer in the game. But, let's put on the brakes before I get all lovey dovey with the fact that I praised him. You'll see why.
Carmelo is a dynamic scorer in the NBA, yes. But why? I believe it is because he has mastered the art of the mid-range game. So many players in today's world believe becoming a very efficient three point guy is a must and being able to soar and dunk the ball from the rafters is down right nasty. Well, yes I won't argue either points, but the fact of the matter is they are more flashy than productive. The mid-range jump shot allows players to break their man down, create high percentage opportunities and get to the free throw line. It's a much better scenario leading to a layup and a thunderous and one finish than it is to launch shots from deep with a hand in your face. Plain and simple.
Anthony has mastered this skill and this is why he is a dynamic scorer. He is able to jab step, give you one dribble and pull up and down right freeze his defenders before rising up and taking a very high percentage jumper. I challenege everybody to actually watch some games the rest of this week. I'm sure other players in this league could be named as being dynamic and having this skill set. But, for Knicks fans, this is such a positive piece to the puzzle moving forward that it needed to be mentioned.
Peace Up, Threes Down!