Is Carmelo a legit MVP candidate?

Knicks star had huge season, but his team impact doesn't rival that of elites

Updated: April 17, 2013, 12:16 PM ET
By Bradford Doolittle | ESPN Insider

Carmelo AnthonyJim McIsaac/Getty ImagesCarmelo Anthony leads the NBA with 28.7 PPG. But does he warrant MVP consideration?

Early in the season, Carmelo Anthony was being bandied about as an MVP candidate. But at this point, virtually no one is suggesting that he should actually win the award. The ESPN Forecast Panel placed Anthony fourth, with one first-place vote. If the MVP voting matches the Forecast results, it will be Anthony's first top-five finish. MVP award or not, it's been a banner season for the Knicks' top player.

Anthony always has been a lightning rod for a classic NBA debate: Is his scoring-based game really all that valuable? In other words, should Anthony have ever been mentioned in the MVP conversation to begin with?