The NBA scoring race is getting fun

lebronmelodurantBY SCOTT PHILLIPS

If you are like most basketball fans by now the NBA regular season is dragging a bit. After the All-Star break, through about now, it’s just difficult to drum up excitement to watch NBA basketball. March Madness contributes to this factor a bit, but more-or-less, there really isn’t much to get excited about in the first place.

Games one through 20 are exciting because it’s a new season and you missed basketball dearly and games 20 through 50 separates the contenders from the pretenders and you see some genuinely great teams coming together while the legs are still fresh.

But games 50 through 70? Yikes. Bad teams begin to tank and/or quit on coaches, filler guys and dud rookies get significant playing time as franchises hope to find a diamond in the rough, and players are more likely to get tired or hurt and miss games or significant playing time. Miami Heat winning streaks aside — there just isn’t much of a reason to watch.

But now that the NBA is hitting the home stretch of the regular season there is some stuff to get excited about. Obviously, the playoff races for spots and seeding is fun, but this year I’m closely following a ridiculous NBA scoring race.

Take a look at the top ten NBA scorers as of this morning:

Credit: ESPN Stats

Credit: ESPN Stats

Just look at that top four! Melo, Durant, Kobe and LeBron? That’s insane!

It’s likely a two-man race between the red-hot Anthony and Durant.

Anthony had 36 points as the Knicks — the hottest team in the NBA and winners of 12 straight — knocked off Durant and the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Sunday.

But with Kobe attempting to put the Lakers in the playoffs and LeBron carrying more of a scoring burden with the potential regular season loss of Dwyane Wade, the former MVPs will both be lurking in the shadows.

Remember, all four of these guys played for Team USA’s gold medal-winning squad this summer and probably talked about the scoring title and winning a championship. This is likely more competitive between the involved parties than you think.

Carmelo has never won a scoring title and he’ll have to really bring it to fend off Durant, who is coming from three consecutive scoring titles. A fourth consecutive scoring title would put Durant in sole possession of second place for the most consecutive seasons with a scoring title behind Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan’s incredible seven season streaks.

My money is on the red-hot Anthony, but it’ll be fun to watch.

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