Who needs to adapt: Carmelo Anthony or Jeremy Lin?

There is around a 20 million dollar difference in salary between Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin. Carmelo was named to the All Rookie Team, to the All-Star team five times, and to the All-NBA team five times.  He’s led his team to the playoffs every year between 2004-2012.

Jeremy Lin has one player of the month award and is the creator of Linsanity.  If we asked this question four months ago before Linsanity, there wouldn’t be one person not laughing about this comparison.  But this has now become a question.  Should Carmelo Anthony adapt to Jeremy Lin-Led offense? or Should Jeremy Lin adapt to Carmelo Anthony-led offense?  Before we jump to any conclusions, let’s take a look at both sides.

May 9, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the second half of game five in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Miami Heat of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the American Airlines Arena. Miami won 106-94. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Should Carmelo Anthony adapt to Jeremy Lin-Led offense:

There is a major case for this to occur since Lin was the one that revitalized the Knicks’ season.  Linsanity brought the Knicks back into the conversation for the playoffs going on a seven-game win streak with no Carmelo and no Amar’e Stoudemire (until the last two games).

It was a fast paced offense where Lin would penetrate to the basket making every defender collapse on him and he ended up slicing everyone for an easy layup, or kicking it out for Steve Novak and J.R. Smith to hit wide-open threes.

This was also a time when Tyson Chandler played his best basketball feeding off of Lin’s alley-oops (had his season high of 25-points during Lin’s error).  For the rest of the season and the playoffs, Chandler’s offensive game was nowhere.

In the time that Lin and Carmelo played together it was a very hard adjustment since Lin was all about pushing the ball, while Carmelo was to take it slow and isolate.  We saw Lin becoming a very passive player and not always making the right decisions, always having to decide should I drive and kick, or should I give it to Melo right away?  Lin often got caught up in the middle.

The Knicks offense looked stellar under Lin.  They played together and the ball movement was at a all time high, making it very enjoyable to watch.  Carmelo Anthony should adjust to Lin’s style of play where he needs to move better without the ball and trust Lin in finding him to do what Melo does best.

Although Melo’s numbers were down under Lin’s offense (16.9 points a game), he did increase his rebounding and dishing, and became a more intensified defender and a overall team player.

Should Jeremy Lin adapt to Carmelo Anthony-led offense:

Mar 21, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin (17) during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Knicks defeated the Sixers 82-79. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

To many people, this is a no-brainer.  We brought Carmelo to the Big Apple to lead the Knicks to the championship and we would build pieces around him such as sidekick Amar’e Stoudemire and defensive stopper Tyson Chandler to help him accomplish this.

We knew we would need a solid point guard to control the flow of the offense but we never thought that the three players above especially Carmelo would have to look up to the point guard.

Carmelo played his best basketball when Amar’e and Lin were out with injury since he was able to play a little bit of every position – he controlled the point, defended the power forwards (best defense he ever played in his career) and was without question the go to scorer every time down.  Whether it was isolation or coming off screens, Carmelo was arguably the most dominant player in the league in this stretch scoring 28.4 points a game.

So who needs to adapt?

It has to be Lin adapting to Carmelo.  Who cares that the offense can get a little bit stagnant with Carmelo- it’s his way of scoring and when he is on, he is on.

This doesn’t mean Lin can’t penetrate and dish and still be a threat on offense, but when Carmelo wants the ball, give him the ball.  Don’t have any doubts, just do it.  If we want any improvement next year (under the circumstances that Lin resigns with the Knicks), we need to see them work well together.

Topics: Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks, Tyson Chandler

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  • AnnaLu1

    Don’t ignore that Melo isn’t like another super-star Shooters, he need so many shoots in one game to marm his scoring point. He always wastes so much time to get scoures.

  • astray71

    I might not know a lot about basketball since I rarely watch it, but in my opinion, Melo needs to adapt to Lin’s style. Everyone can argue all they want, but this is solely my opinion and will not change regardless of any debates. 
     
    Melo is one player. If he can grab 40 points in a game because he’s the leader, then good for him. But, where does that leave everyone else? Melo gives them a pass every few shots? One person carrying the Knicks is not how a team game is played. If he has a bad game one night and the Knicks are down by 10-20 points, you really can’t expect Lin to pick off where Melo left off and have him save the game. 
     
    Lin is a huge team player and a huge contribution to the Knicks offensive line. Whoever wrote the article even said it. “The Knicks offense looked stellar under Lin.  They played together and the ball movement was at a all time high, making it very enjoyable to watch.” During his 7 game winning streak, he had high Assist numbers and that allowed everyone else in the lineup to get involved in the game.
     
    Is it really arguable which player adapting gets more points overall? When Melo was leading the offense, he averaged 28.4 points. When Lin was leading, it’s all of Lin’s assist points PLUS Melo’s 16.9 points PLUS about half of Lin’s scored points. 
     
    All in all, Melo needs to learn that he does not and will not contribute to the Knicks as much as Lin does if he keeps playing the way he does. Lin just needs a little more experience, and I think he’ll be fine. People can rage at me all they want, but the Knicks play style was completely different when they each got their chance to lead.
     
     

  • Jojo1120

    Tin Duncan has adapted. http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/2012/05/25/offense-picks-and-rolls-with-duncan’s-ok/
    Camelo Anthony needs to adapt too. Basketball game is about team work. As we can see that Melo’s one on one game did not get the Knicks too far this year.

  • chakrewla

    I knew right away this article would be anti-Jeremy Lin.  To the idiot that wrote this article, Melo is all hype.   Aren’t you forgetting Knicks were on a losing streak with him before Linsanity?  And how about the embarrassing loss to the Heat where Knicks were shut down and scored under 70 with Melo? Get a life an stop hating on Lin.

  • cdrmng

    Let’s see: When Lin played over 20 minutes a game, the Knicks’ record was 16-10 (incl. 6-game losing streak where Melo admitted that he didn’t play with “energy”). When Melo played major minutes, the Knicks’ record was 29-33 (incl. playoffs). The goal is winning the game, not which player gets the ball or the best statline. There is a reason why Melo has the worst playoff records of any player who has played over 50 games. Chew on that before writing that Lin should adapt to the Meloball.    

  • Tinstar77

    It’s not about who should adapt to who, it should be every players adapting to the team system. Good ball movement and defense wins you Championships.

  • nbanuts

    Who wrote this piece of crap? Does this person even understand the concept of team work in basketball? Melo should do some soul searching because it’s either his own glory at the team’s expense or a cohesive winning team play. Who should adapt to whom? That’s a ridiculous question – Does Knicks want a champion ring? If Lin is not the right piece of the puzzle, he should sign with another team where he can improve and thrive since Melo cannot go anywhere.

  • nbanuts

    Knicks management team should think hard to sign players who can mesh well with their playing styles. J. R. Smith is another selfish player who does not move the ball even when he is cold. That kind of mentality hurts the team. Other than Lin, Knicks also has the problem to match Amare with Melo. Lin is in the spotlight right now because he has a decision to make as a restricted free agent. Knicks actually has lot of problems as a team. Look at Spurs! Good players work well together to win, win, and win ball games.

  • SamTaubenfeld

    To anyone that disagrees with me – Im not saying that Carmelo doesn’t need to be more of a team player – he definitely needs to adapt to a more fluid offense.  But there is no doubt that he is the leader of the team and he needs to get his shots in.  The stats this year are all inflated since they really never had a chance to work together.   Carmelo can lead a team to a championship if he has a reliable supporting staff and we did not have that with all the injuries.  So before anyone says that Carmelo needs to adapt to Lin, lets first see a little more game time before we come to any conclusions.  

  • staubenfeld311

    To anyone that disagrees with me – Im not saying that Carmelo doesn’t need to be more of a team player – he definitely needs to adapt to a more fluid offense.  But there is no doubt that he is the leader of the team and he needs to get his shots in.  The stats this year are all inflated since they really never had a chance to work together.   Carmelo can lead a team to a championship if he has a reliable supporting staff and we did not have that with all the injuries.  So before anyone says that Carmelo needs to adapt to Lin, lets first see a little more game time before we come to any conclusions.  

  • staubenfeld311

    One more thing- I did completely agree with you while Lin was in the midst of Linsanity that he should lead the Knicks not Carmelo.  But after watching Melo play at his superstar capacity at the end of the season and throughout the playoffs, my view of Carmelo changed.  You guys all saw that game against Chicago at home – how ridiculous of a performance was that? How could you not love that?When it came to playoff time he just did not have a point gaurd that could be a floor general and Amar’e didn’t show up besides in the Game 3 win.  This was a very disappointing end to the season but lets not blame it all on Melo and say he shouldn’t lead our team any more.