With the NBA releasing the results of the All-NBA teams, there were many different players and results to look towards. Is Joakim Noah a more valuable center than Dwight Howard? Is Kevin Love better than Lamarcus Aldridge? However, no question is more intriguing to me than the controversial decision to put Paul George ahead of Carmelo Anthony.
Paul George was voted in as a member of the All-NBA Third Team, his second selection, while Carmelo Anthony failed to be part of any team! George received a total of 171 points, while Melo received only 86! Not only was Paul George put ahead of Melo, but he was placed ahead by a good margin. This now raises the question, that has already lingered in the air this past season, of who is the better player: Carmelo Anthony or Paul George?
Carmelo owns the stats with George as he averages 27 PPG, 8 TRB, 4 APG, better shooting from the field and three point line, and led the league in minutes per game. George averaged 21 PPG, 7 TRB, 3 APG, and still shot a good percentage from the field and long distance (42% and 36%). From looking at the offense, Carmelo is the better player as he averages a better shooting percentage and more points, and also racks up more assists than George (He has more assists even with a much worse team).
However, as we all know, offense and stats only touch on a small portion of the players overall ability. On the defensive side, everyone who knows basketball knows defense is Carmelo's greatest weakness. Carmelo has never been voted in on the All-NBA Defensive first or second team, while George was voted second team last year, and now first team this year. Looking at the defensive stats, George has a great defensive rating of 97, and on the other side, Melo has a dismal 108 rating. Obviously, George owns Melo when it comes to defense.
Finally, the only other factor to consider is winning. I can look at all the stats I want, but all that truly matters is winning. Someone could average 50 PPG (*cough cough* Wilt Chamberlain), and still lose the MVP to someone who knows how to lead a team to a Championship (*cough cough* Bill Russell). Looking at the results of this season, everyone can see the Pacers went much farther than the Knicks, and came two games away from reaching the NBA Finals. However, another side of caution, Paul George has played on a better supporting cast with the Indiana Pacers. So how are we deciding this?
Well, looking back at Carmelo's history, Anthony has actually made it just as far as George in the playoffs. In 2009, the year he had the best supporting cast of his career (Aging Iverson and Billups, Nene, JR Smith, Chris Andersen), Carmelo led the team in scoring and came two games from reaching the NBA Finals.
However, George has just as much, if not more credentials than Melo, as he has led the Pacers to two straight Eastern Conference Finals the past two years (With George leading the team in scoring). However, he ended up just like Carmelo in 2009 - Falling short of the Finals by one and then two games.
Looking at the stats and the important winning factor, I have to go with Carmelo. Carmelo is the more confident player, and has reached as far as George in the playoffs. Although George is much better defensively, Carmelo's confidence and great offensive ability can lead a team just as far in the playoffs. Maybe in a couple of years, or even next year, when Paul George develops his confidence, I might have a change of opinion. However, right now, I want Carmelo on my team rather than Paul George.
That's my opinion, but I am curious to hear yours. Where does Carmelo rank among the NBA? Has Paul George become the better player? Share this article and share your opinions in the comment section below.