Ok, so it was only one game and it was against the Bobcats, but there is something to be said about the Knicks having such offensive
success with Carmelo Anthony only taking 7 shots.
It is no secret that the Knicks have been unable to get their team together since acquiring Melo last season; at this point, as I have argued before, it is pretty obvious that the nature of Anthony’s game—the fact that the Knicks don’t have a point guard compounds this fact—is such that the ball stops when it gets to him which completely negates what made the Knicks a good team last season prior to his arrival in NYC.
Last night against the Bobcats, Anthony deferred his game. Instead of taking a ton of shots and needlessly pounding the ball into the ground, he shared the ball and got others involved. When the Knicks share the ball—which, needless to say, isn’t often—they actually have a fairly balanced offensive attack. Guys like Bill Walker, Landry field and Toney Douglas are competent offensive players that can stick open looks; Landry Fields in particular, is a player that thrives in an offense that moves the ball frequently.
More importantly, moving the ball and playing the screen and roll opens up Amar’e Stoudmeire’s game completely. He is the kind of player that has struggled in the point guardless offense the Knicks have employed this season, and hasn’t quite clicked with Melo just yet. The reason for this is obvious: the way both players have grown accustomed to playing thus far in their NBA careers are conflicting styles that seemingly cannot coexist. That is, of course, unless one of them decides to alter their game for the betterment of the team.
After last night’s win over the Bobcats it is becoming increasingly clear that the extra ball movement that takes place when Carmelo Anthony elects to play more of a team game benefits the team’s other star player. With perhaps a little more efficiency on the part of Anthony, both of the Knicks star players can coexist and put to bed the trade rumors that have been swirling around the team as of late.
I am not advocating that Anthony limit his shots to 7 per game, but simply that he be more vigilant in looking for others, and trying to find his shot within the flow of the offense as it is much more advantageous for the team than dominating the ball and taking 25 to 30 shots a game has proven to be.
The Knicks will perhaps, test my theory tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have got out to a somewhat surprising 6-10 start; this has them currently sitting in 9th place in the Eastern Conference.
Only time will tell which Carmelo Anthony we see tonight, but I would hazard to guess that following a performance like he had last night, Melo might be out for his own tonight against the Cavs. Whether or not this is a good thing for the Knicks, you will have to tune in to find out.