As a superstar in the NBA, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James will always be compared to other NBA superstars from the past and present, but how do they fair when put up against each other?
So far in these 2011 NBA playoffs, both players have averaged a double-double, but Anthony (28.5ppg) averages four more points, while James (12.0rpg) averages two more rebounds.
In their respective careers, James averages 27.7ppg, 7.1rpg and 7.0apg, while Anthony averages 24.8ppg 7.3rpg and 2.9apg. Besides the assists category, both players are statistically equals.
There are some differences in both players as well. Anthony is known as more of a selfish scorer and is the better flat out scorer between the two. James is more of a facilitator who scores at will when going full speed and attacking the rim.
Between the two, James' lack of consistency when shooting makes him easier to guard, but when his shot is on there's no hope for any defender. Anthony is unstoppable though, and he has said it himself.
"There's no 'Melo stopper," Anthony said in an ESPN interview when asked about being defended. Every superstar has double and triple teams sent his way, but when guarded one-on-one, no one has yet to be able to shut down Melo.
On the other hand, during his 7-year career, James has been shut down (or at least tamed) by notable defenders like Paul Pierce, Bruce Bowen and Anthony himself. Yes, Anthony has had bad nights as well, but he's usually dealing with team defense, not individual defense.
In their Feb. 27 head-to-head regular season match up, Anthony out shined James with his 29 points, 9 rebounds and his tough defense on James with 6.7 seconds left to solidify the 91-86 win.
Each player plays defense when they want to, and when they do they both are almost impossible to score against.
James is definitely the better defender of the two, and is a scary player to attempt a layup on, especially on the fast break. He His constant flirtation with a triple-double almost every night is another solid reason to make the case the LeBron is the better player, but Melo is slightly a better player overall.
Since Anthony has the ability to score at will by way of jumper and going to the basket, and that he is maturing into a better defender gives him the narrow edge over James.
Both players are outstanding, and it will be a privilege to see their future head-to-head match ups.