For all that Carmelo Anthony, Mike Woodson, the Knicks, and their fans have endured together (for better or for worse) this season, everyone deserved some sort of reprieve, regardless of how briefly it lasts.
Because of how poorly the Eastern Conference as a whole has played, the Knicks remain in the playoff hunt, despite the team's own respective continued struggles.
But for a night, a hero emerged to provide one and all with not only a glimmer of further hope, but some relief, some excitement, and more importantly, a reason to celebrate.
That hero, of course, was none other than Carmelo Anthony. Going into Friday's matchup against the Bobcats, it was clear such a game can no longer be considered a shoe-in victory, especially when taking into consideration how well Charlotte has already played New York this season. Still, Anthony hit the court like a man on a mission, set out to destroy any flicker of optimistic the opposition may have had coming in.
This wasn't just your ordinary Friday evening. Already one of the better players in all of the NBA, Anthony looked downright dominant, and was utterly unstoppable. Call him Jordan-esque if you like, because he certainly did his part to earn that right during New York's 125-96 victory over the Bobcats.
The Garden crowd full of Knickerbocker faithfuls roared with joy and excitement from start to finish, and rightfully so. Anthony's prowess provided the spark for the electricity to flow throughout all of MSG all night long. His shots kept on falling, finding the bottom of the net again and again with ease. Though a victory over Charlotte may not have been assumed initially, the likelihood of Anthony's shots going in actually seemed to increase the more he let them fly.
As the Brooklyn native continued to soar, he ensured his team rolled over Charlotte and never looked back. Anthony's evening was a truly magical one, highlighted by 23 converted field goals out of a possible 35, ten sunk free throws, six daggers from beyond the arc, and not to mention, 13 rebounds, too.
All in all, this victory was one Anthony certainly won't ever forget. He had The World's Most Famous Arena's electricity flowing through his veins, and it showed. His 62 point performance not only stands tall as a team-record ( he leapfrogged childhood idol Bernard King's previous record of 60), but also likely represents one of the best performances a good number of NBA fans may ever see in their lifetimes.
For a night, not only was all right in the Big Apple for a change, but it couldn't have gotten any better than that.
Upon banking in the layup that helped him secure such a record, Anthony walked off the MSG hardwood to a standing ovation from fans, teammates, and coaches alike. Again, the volume in the building was turned up to the max like never before. Melo's magic resulted in what will surely go down as quite the magnificent and monumental night in Knicks' history.
It probably goes without saying that the gratitude Anthony received from the home crowd (as well as the feeling he likely felt while walking off the court) is unable to be matched by such results all too often. A night like that could be one for the ages, as well as one that won't come around ever again.
Still, one has to think that if Anthony sticks around New York City to finally help the Knicks back to the promise land once and for all, the fan base will reward him in a similar fashion for reaching that very plateau.
Given the kind of amazing night Friday proved to be, perhaps such an experience is further motivation for Anthony to keep trying, regardless of how much longer it takes.