||05-18-2009 11:57 AM
Anthony Not Fazed At All: Ready For The Challenge
Forward Carmelo Anthony spent an entire season trying to crack the code to the Lakers' defense without much success. Against Los Angeles, he averaged 14.5 points on 32.8 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent from the 3-point line. His turnovers in the four games equaled his jersey number (15).
But none of that, he said Sunday, is cause for concern in the Nuggets' upcoming Western Conference finals series against the Lakers.
"I'm not worried about that," Anthony said. "They are going to do what they are going to do. They're going to send two, three people at me. They are going to shift the whole defense on me. I just continue doing what I've been doing throughout this whole playoffs."
Anthony has been nearly unstoppable in these playoffs, averaging 27.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists. He's shooting 48 percent from the field and 44.7 percent from the 3-point arc. He scored 102 points in the last three games of the conference semifinal series against the Mavericks.
Still, the Nuggets are wary of the issue and have been working in practice on ways to get Anthony better looks at the basket. Nuggets coach George Karl also says he'll let Anthony go out and do in-game problem-solving to raise his productivity.
"I think we've just got to trust that over the last two or three months Melo has been figuring it out at the best rate he's done all year," Karl said. "He's trying to play quicker on his catches and staying away from isolations, staying away from the power game. But when we do do that, he's been a playmaker. So we're going to give him the opportunity to make some plays."
Anthony said he's not worried about the left thigh bruise he suffered Wednesday in Game 5 of the Nuggets' series against the Mavericks. "I'm good," he said. . . . Karl, when asked about comments Rockets forward Shane Battier made after their game against L.A., saying the Nuggets would have a tough time against the Lakers: "Why would I comment on a Duke guy?"
Good to see he is confident and ready.
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