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News » On a superstar's path, Carmelo elevates his game

On a superstar's path, Carmelo elevates his game

On a superstar's path, Carmelo elevates his game

"I think he got excited the summer before at the Olympics, then last year having the playoff success," Nuggets coach George Karl said of Anthony. "He came in just wanting to get to the top of the mountain."

That's how he began the season, with an all-out assault, as he averaged 37.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in leading Denver to a 3-0 start. Going into Friday night's showdown, he ranked fourth in scoring (30.2), behind only Bryant (33.0), Miami's Dwyane Wade (30.6) and Sacramento's Kevin Martin (30.6).

Karl said there's no question teams are playing Anthony differently this year as he has gone from All-Star caliber to potential MVP candidate.

"He's got to be able to observe and adjust to the changes and it's not easy," Karl said. "Everybody thinks scoring is easy. But it might be the hardest thing to do in the game, score 25 points a night against defenses who are tuned to say, 'No, you're not going to get 25.' "

That, Bryant almost always finds a way to do — with Friday being a rare exception.

Still, it's the consistency over the years and the playoff success that Karl believes elevate players such as Bryant.

"Don't get me wrong, a lot of great players never won championships.

But when you win a championship, you get a key to the city," Karl said.

So far, only John Elway, and perhaps Joe Sakic, hold that honor in Denver. Until then, Anthony's pockets might as well remain turned inside out and empty.

"I've just got to get one (title) at this point," Anthony said. "This is a big win."

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Added: November 14, 2009


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