NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 5:40 PM
Carmelo Anthony is mostly ignored by GMs during their annual survey.
It’s not just the media, the math geeks and the “haters” who are down on the Knicks; the league’s top decision-makers don’t think much of them, either.
In the annual GM survey released by the NBA on Tuesday, the organization cracked the top 5 just once in 50 categories, with Carmelo Anthony receiving two of the 29 votes for his clutch shooting. Besides the understandable shutout in categories like “pick the 2015-16 champion” and “rank the top-4 teams in the Eastern Conference,” the Knicks garnered just one vote as the team that will be most improved — a title the franchise hopes to accomplish after winning just 17 games last season and overhauling the roster.
Individually, Anthony and rookie Kristaps Porzingis were also overlooked. Porzingis, the fourth overall pick, got zero votes for Rookie of the Year and just one for best future among rookies. Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay, who was picked three spots below Porzingis in the draft, was tied for second in that category with 10.3 percent of the votes.
For the first time in 10 years, Anthony didn’t get a vote for either MVP or top small forward.
“I think they go off what they saw last,” said Anthony, who missed the last three months of the season after undergoing knee surgery. “But for me, I know where I stand in this league.”
“My mentality is just to come out strong and I want to just come back to where I was before the injury,” he added. “So that’s me just motivating myself. But as far as proving anything to anybody, I’m not trying to prove anything. I know what I can do.”
Told that this could be a big year for the 31-year-old, Anthony responded, “It will be. For sure it will be.” But there’s an understanding that another elite season won’t translate to awards — or respect in the GM survey — if the team stinks again.
Last season, Knick fans with bags on their heads.
“Nobody cares about what kind of year you have if you’re on a losing team. I could average 30 and we won 30-something games and it’ll still be a down year all the way around,” he said. “So nobody cares about that. Everybody cares about the 54-win season (in 2012-13) when we had a good team and we were winning and everybody gets the plugs and the shine. So we’re going to be alright. I’m not concerned about myself at all.”
Winning 30-something games would actually be higher than the projection, specifically as calculated by ESPN’s complicated algorithm designed by math whiz Nate Silver. The machine believes New York will win 27 games. Not good.
“I think we will be better than people predict,” Anthony said. “If people are predicting 27 wins, I laugh at that.”
Even if they’re laughing off math and naysayers, the Knicks have persistently avoided setting their own predictions or expectations after their failed goal last season of making the playoffs. It’s a united effort to not get ahead of themselves for these Knicks. A 17-65 season can be humbling.
“For our team this year, the goal is the process of becoming good,” coach Derek Fisher said.
Added point guard Jose Calderon, “It’s just talk and it didn’t work last year so let’s keep doing it this way.”