Lebron has his ring, so we can get off his back for a season or two. Now, its time for Carmelo to put his skills to work, and apply himself to getting his own championship.
You hear people say that ‘Melo has “potential,” but what does that really mean? “Potential” is essentially an excuse for a great player who has underperformed throughout his career. I am sick of ‘Melo’s potential to win a championship, and his potential to be one of the best players in this league. I am ready for him to complete those challenges.
He has all the skills already in place to lead a team to the holy land: he is a dynamite scorer who can score from anywhere on the court, he can rebound, he can pass (when he feels like it), and he can play defense when he applies himself. The thing is that he does not do all of these things for an entire season consistently.
In the past 1 and a half seasons with the Knicks, Carmelo has been a less than stellar defender, who rarely could have multiple great offensive nights in a row. He has been shooting well from beyond the arc, and I am one of the few people who thinks he has also been a decent passer. His rebounding has been average. His golden moments occurred while playing in the post, and using his lethal combination of speed and strength to draw the foul.
He is always being called on to be a better passer, but that is not his biggest problem as far as I can see. He needs to be able to score more consistently within a game, and be able to replicate this efficiency for an entire season. Shooting below 44% from the field is no longer an option for him. His defense is not as bad as labeled, but definitely can use improvement, specifically in defending around the perimeter.
Carmelo demanded a trade to the team of his dreams. His front office has surrounded him with offensive and defensive weapons to help him. However, it is up to him. Carmelo Anthony is the one who needs to make a difference in his game, he needs to see what Lebron did and try to replicate his season every way he can, and on top of all of that he needs to do what he does best: score.
He is already on the right track. Mike Woodson called on Carmelo to be in better shape next season, and according to ‘Melo he is already down 12 pounds from his end of season weight. He has also said that his offseason knee surgery from last season is beginning to pay off, and he is feeling quicker.
The pressure cooker that is New York City is on, and there is only one person who can turn it off and answer all of the questions about if the Knicks are championship contenders: Carmelo Anthony.