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.
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:
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.