Melo receives first-place MVP vote

Carmelo Anthony was remarkably valuable to the Knicks this season. He led New York to a 54-win season and its first Atlantic Division title and playoff-series victory since 2000.

But is there an NBA observer out there who would argue that he had more value to the Knicks than LeBron James did to the Heat?

There's at least one.

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe gave Anthony a first-place vote for the MVP award, denying James the opportunity to be the first MVP to win by unanimous vote.

Listen to an interview with Gary Washburn:

Play"That's the furthest thing from my mind at this point in time. I'll take that [first-place vote], though," Anthony said Sunday, after the Knicks lost Game 1 of their series with Indiana.

Voting was announced Sunday afternoon.

In 2000, Shaquille O'Neal was one first-place vote shy of a unanimous result.

This year, Anthony (475 total points) finished third in the voting behind James and Kevin Durant (765 total points).

Chris Paul (289 total points) was fourth, Kobe Bryant (184 total points) was fifth.

James, who finished with 1,207 total points in MVP voting, was the only player in the NBA to lead his team in scoring (26.8 PPG), rebounding (8.0 RPG) and assists (7.3 APG).

Anthony led the league in scoring (28.7 PPG) but does not defend nearly as well as James.

"I take my hat off to him, he deserves it," Anthony said of James' MVP honor. "They had a helluva year. To win 27 straight games [is] a hell of an achievement."

The voting consisted of a panel of 121 voters. The panel was made up of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada as well as an NBA.com MVP fan vote. The fan vote counted as one vote and was compiled with the 120 media votes to determine the winner.

NOVAK IN GAME 3? Steve Novak did not play in Game 1 against Indy. He has missed two straight games with back spasms. He said before Game 1 that he hopes to return Tuesday for Game 2 but will definitely be back in Game 3 on Saturday in Indianapolis. He has not undergone an MRI or X-ray on his back.

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