November 28, 2006 -- Everybody should have seen this coming.

After watching him turn the FIBA World Championship into his own personal playground this summer, it was obvious that Denver forward Carmelo Anthony was primed for a career season.

And even still, the fourth-year forward has exceeded expectations.

While fellow 2003 lottery picks LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are usually two of the first names mentioned when the topic of conversation is the best players in the game, Anthony is proving this season that he should be mentioned in the same breath.

Line of the Week
Allen Iverson (Sixers)
November 24 vs. Bulls
46 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds,
2 steals, 15-30 FG, 16-17 FT

Simply put, Anthony has been unstoppable offensively.

He is equally effective attacking the rim, draining pull-up jumpers and putting in work on the block this season and his averages through 12 games tell the entire story: 31 points on 51 percent shooting from the field, 4.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

As Anthony goes, so do the Nuggets. Denver has won eight of nine games, including five straight, after opening the season 0-3.

While the Nuggets are obviously rolling, so is Anthony, who has scored 29 or more in 10 straight and at least 30 points in nine of those games.

This past week, Anthony scored 29, 33, 30 and 33 points in four games all Denver victories.

The league paid tribute to his outstanding week by selecting him as the Western Conference Player of the Week. The Race to the MVP honored Anthony by finding him a slot in the top 10.

Here are the player rankings for the week of Nov. 21 through Nov. 27.

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    Race to the MVP - Overall Player Rankings
    1. LeBron James, Cleveland
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    27.6 6.8 6.8 1.7 0.9 .471 .717
  • Last Week's Rank - 1 | All-Star Game: Fill out a ballot daily
    As I read the e-mails, I was amazed at all of the LeBron haters. Look at the numbers people, what more does LBJ have to do? And the Cavs, who are 9-5, are winning, too.

  • 2. Carlos Boozer, Utah
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    21.9 12.5 3.1 0.6 0.3 .565 .741
  • Last Week's Rank - 2 | All-Star Game: Fill out a ballot daily
    Uh oh, the Jazz have lost two in a row, including their first game at home. Don't go getting off the bandwagon yet. As long as Boozer continues to put up these types of stats, Utah will be fine.

  • 3.Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    25.7 10.0 3.1 0.6 1.1 .509 .917
  • Last Week's Rank - 6 | All-Star Game: Fill out a ballot daily
    It is amazing how many Mavericks hats, shirts and jackets have been spotted since Dallas started its 10-game winning streak.

  • 4. Tim Duncan, San Antonio
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    22.7 11.3 3.5 0.5 1.7 .565 .608
  • Last Week's Rank - 4 | All-Star Game: Fill out a ballot daily
    Has the Big Fundamental ever played better? The perennial All-Star is a model of consistency and despite Monday's loss to the Warriors, he has the Spurs only one game back of the top record in the league.

  • 5. Yao Ming, Houston
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    26.4 10.4 1.5 0.6 1.9 .532 .849
  • Last Week's Rank - 5 | All-Star Game: Fill out a ballot daily
    Despite the embarrassing rejection the 7-6 Yao received from the 5-8 Nate Robinson, the Rockets' center is still enjoying a career season.

  • 6. Dwight Howard, Orlando
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    16.7 13.7 1.8 0.6 1.8 .553 .667
  • Last Week's Rank - 7 | All-Star Game: Fill out a ballot daily
    In a matchup of teams with the best records in their respective conferences, the Magic topped the Jazz on Monday thanks to another monster performance from the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

  • 7. Dwyane Wade, Miami
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    28.1 4.9 8.4 1.5 1.1 .472 .816
  • Last Week's Rank - 18 | All-Star Game: Fill out a ballot daily
    Wade became the first player to have at least 30 points and 12 assists for three games in a row since Kevin Johnson of Phoenix in 1989.

  • 8. Carmelo Anthony, Denver
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    31.1 4.8 4.1 2.1 0.3 .510 .864
  • Last Week's Rank - 17 | All-Star Game: Fill out a ballot daily
    Unlike the league's leading scorer Allen Iverson, Anthony's Nuggets actually win games. Don't look now, but Denver is only one game behind the Jazz in the loss column for first place in the Northwest.

  • 9. Zach Randolph, Portland
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    25.0 10.2 1.6 0.8 0.4 .489 .831
  • Last Week's Rank - 3 | All-Star Game: Fill out a ballot daily
    Even though I'm not fond of Z-Bo as a nickname, it is much better than "Zandolph" as one reader e-mailed me. Anyway, the Trail Blazers are on a two-game slide despite Randolph playing like an All-Star.

  • 10. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    23.8 5.0 5.3 1.4 0.1 .480 .824
  • Last Week's Rank - Unranked | All-Star Game: Fill out a ballot
    For the first time this season, we have a Kobe sighting. It is hard to argue with his numbers and I have a feeling that there will be a spike in his points per game soon.
  • Close But No Cigar (season averages)
    11. Steve Nash (PHO): 20.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 11.0 APG
    12. Lamar Odom (LAL): 19.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 4.6 APG
    13. Kevin Garnett (MIN): 21.3 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 3.4 APG
    14. Chris Paul (NOH): 18.0 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 8.4 APG
    15. Tracy McGrady (HOU): 19.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 6.7 APG
    16. Allen Iverson (PHI): 31.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 7.1 APG
    17. Emeka Okafor (CHA): 18.8 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 3.4 BPG
    18. Joe Johnson (ATL): 26.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 3.6 APG
    19. Paul Pierce (BOS): 27.2 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 3.8 APG
    20. Chris Bosh (TOR): 20.8 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 1.9 APG

    Running the Floor

    Davis
    Golden State guard Baron Davis, who is averaging 20.7 points, eight assists and 3.6 rebounds, is having one of his best seasons. Unfortunately, the guard is sidelined with a strained muscle in his ribs. Here's hoping he comes back soon.
    Amare Stoudemire, who is continuing his recovery from knee surgery, is starting to round back into form. He posted back-to-back double-doubles last week and now has four for the season.
    Allen Iverson is in the zone, posting 46, 31 and 45 points in the three games he played last week. Problem is, the Sixers only won one game during that span. Philadelphia has dropped six out of seven.