Carmelo Anthony has been the offensive shoulder — and back, knees and intestines — the Knicks have leaned upon all season. With the Knicks flirting with the top spot in the Eastern Conference, Anthony’s name enters in MVP discussions.

Though many are ready to carve LeBron James’ name upon the MVP trophy for a second straight season and fourth overall, Anthony, the NBA’s current leading scorer, believes it’s too soon to call the race.

“It’s early,” said Anthony, who will carry his 29.0 scoring average into tonight’s game against the Raptors at Madison Square Garden in the Knicks’ last effort before the All-Star Game. “It’s All-Star break right now. He’s definitely playing like a Most Valuable Player so we’ll see what happens.”

Regardless of whether the media types who eventually decide the award send the trophy to Miami for James, to Los Angeles for Kobe Bryant or Chris Paul, to Oklahoma City for Kevin Durant, to San Antonio for Tony Parker or to New York for Anthony, the Knicks’ superb forward acknowledged his Heat rival has been unreal.

“That’s crazy. What he’s doing right now is unbelievable. He’s scoring 30, 40 points on 11 shots, [shooting] 10-for-12. He’s on an incredible run right now,” Anthony said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Maybe he should watch some Knicks game films. Anthony has produced similar offensive tears this season: five games of 40 or more points; 18 games of 30 or more; a Knicks franchise record of 31 straight games with 20 or more points. Not a bad career crammed into one season.

The Knicks, obviously, fill the hand that feeds their offense but there have been suggestions they go to the well too often, maybe rely too heavily on Anthony. He disagreed. So did others.

“I don’t feel like that. It depends on the game. Some nights, we all have it as a team, some nights we don’t. You’ve got to deal with it according to the game,” Anthony reasoned.