Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony had their last and final match-up last night. It was a close game throughout but Jose Calderon hit a late three to win the game for the New York Knicks. Anthony had a stellar game as he finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Kobe answered with just 14 points of his own but struggled from the field for most of the game. Although it wasn’t much on the line in this game, as the Lakers and the Knicks are both lower tier teams, it was great to see Kobe and Melo go at it one last time.
It seems a lot of people, especially the media puts a lot of energy and effort into the Kobe vs LeBron match-up, whereas I feel Kobe vs Melo always goes under the radar. This battle is the one that I always look more forward to throughout the year. Maybe I’m a little bias as these are my two favorite players in the game but at the same time, I just feel their games are more similar in the grand scheme of things. They both love to post, play the mid-range game, and shoot your eyes out from outside as well.
Bryant and Anthony have given us some great battles, especially in Anthony’s Denver days. Those two went at it during the Western Conference Finals in 2009 that led to a great series between the two teams. Kobe averaged 34 points, 5.8 assists, and 5.8 rebounds while Carmelo averaged 27.5 points, 3.7 assists, and 4.8 rebounds. The Lakers ultimately won the series 4-2 but a personal matchup doesn’t get much better than that. These two are immensely talented and they have great appreciation for each other. Two of the best scorers this league has ever seen, I will surely miss these two going at each other on the court.