Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks shoots a jump shot against Metta World Peace #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half during the NBA game at Staples Center on December 25, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
On the final game of their longest road trip of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers are desperate for a little boost. Unfortunately, Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks are coming off an historic night.
Last time out, Anthony scored 62 points on Friday night. Those 62 points broke the New York Knicks’ franchise record for points in a single game. Also, Anthony set the arena record for Madison Square Garden--Kobe Bryant’s 61 points in 2009 was the previous mark.
With the LA Lakers in the big city on Sunday, Anthony should have the opportunity to best Friday’s incredible mark. The injury-ravaged Lakers are struggling in a bad way, and most opponents have had their way with LA. Losers of nine of the last 11 and 15 of the last 18 games, the Lakers don’t look like they can put up much of a challenge these days.
Coming off an embarrassing loss to the second-worst team in the NBA, the Lakers are playing their third game in four days. Even worse, the 16-28 Lakers have allowed 20 different players to record season-highs in points this season--a sad reality of the lack of defense consistently displayed by this team.
What does this mean for Sunday's game?
Anthony very well could go for more than the 62 points he put up against the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday. With Bryant watching from the Lakers’ bench, Anthony could put on another performance worthy of the Black Mamba.
Similar to Anthony, Tobias Harris of the Orlando Magic scored a season-high 28 points and pulled down a season-high 20 rebounds against the Lakers on Friday. With Anthony matching up against the same defense and showing special form, there is no ceiling for what the third overall pick of the 2003 NBA draft can accomplish.
Anthony aside, though, the Knicks are not a good team.
The Lakers and Knicks actually have the same number of wins, and the Lakers only have one more loss than New York on the season. To say the Lakers don’t have a chance against the Knicks would be a false statement.
The Knicks had lost five of the last six before destroying the Bobcats by 29 points, and those five losses came with Anthony averaging 31.7 points per game over that stretch.
Ultimately, the Lakers should expect Anthony to fill up the cup, but that does not mean the Lakers cannot walk away victorious on Sunday.