ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Sports and Recreation»
  • Team Sports»
  • Basketball

New York Knicks Must Demote Carmelo Anthony to Win NBA Title

Updated on May 25, 2013
Source

There is nothing wrong with taking a worthwhile gamble if the risks could mean winning a championship. The New York Knicks took a big one when they gave away a lot of promising young talent in exchange for Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony. After two early playoff exits and limited impact, it’s becoming clear New York didn’t so much as make a mistake trading for Anthony. Their blunder was believing he has what it takes to lead.

Indiana Pacers showcased inability of Anthony to elevate teammates

Source

First of all, it’s best to get the arguments out of the way. Melo had a terrific 2012-2013 season. He averaged 28 point per game and reached his sixth All-Star game en route to his first ever league scoring title. The winning streak New York put together down the stretch was primarily due to him scoring 30 to 40 points every night and was why the Knicks ended up with the valuable second seed in the playoffs.

With that out of the way it became clear once again he wasn’t up to the task of playing team basketball. Nowhere was that clearer than against the Indiana Pacers. The strong, defensive team knew going into the series that Anthony would take his shots. So they chose to defend him as best they could but especially locked down on the other four Knicks on the floor. Why do this? Carmelo doesn’t pass the ball. Despite his obvious threat as a scorer Anthony didn’t have more than three assists in a game during the series. On top of that he failed all season to use his 6’8” frame and elite athleticism to go after rebounds. The most he had in the series was nine. He averaged six during the season. LeBron James meanwhile averaged two more rebounds and four more assists.

For an idea of what that means, one need only look at the box scores from every loss in the Indiana series. In game 3 no other starter scored double digit points. In game 4 Kenyon Martin and Iman Shumpert failed to score at all. By game 5 Anthony and Shumpert were the only two players to reach double figures. That speaks to a failure by a team to share the ball. In all four Pacers wins at least four starters score 10 or more points. Now they’re playing in the Eastern Conference Finals and the Knicks are left wondering why.

The Michael Jordan myth

A big reason why New York fell into this trade can be traced back to Michael Jordan. His rise to greatness in the ‘90s had every team in the league thinking all they had to do was find that dominant scorer and the rest of the pieces would fall into place. What they failed to take note of was for awhile it was a failed strategy with Jordan. He would put up 30, 40 and 50 points in the playoffs but kept losing to teams like the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons. Nobody could understand what the problem was.

A good overlay to use is the 1989 Eastern Conference Finals versus the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals Jordan played against Detroit. In ’89, Jordan posted similar numbers to Anthony: 29 points, five rebounds and six assists per game. The next closest on the team was Craig Hodges with 12 points and Bill Cartwright with 10. Detroit meanwhile had four players average at least 13 points in the series. Chicago failed to crack 100 points in any of the games and lost in six. Two years later Jordan averaged 29 points again, but in three fewer minutes per game. He also upped his number to seven assists and even pitched in with two steals and two blocks per game. As a result teammate Scottie Pippen averaged 22 points (versus 9 two years before). Cartwright and Horace Grant also reached double figures. The Bulls scored over 100 points three out of four games and swept the Pistons.

Leadership

That willingness by Jordan to take on a bigger leadership role i.e. passing the ball more and putting more effort into crafting his defense were the single two factors that helped Chicago get over the hump to their first NBA title. Carmelo is 28-years old, the same age Jordan was when he won his first championship. His game in no way shows a similar growth in terms of versatility. This past season Anthony averaged .5 steals and .8 blocks per game. That speaks to a player who doesn’t appreciate doing the little things well. He believes scoring baskets is the key to winning games. Ten playoff appearances, eight first round exits and no ring says otherwise.

Yet in spite of all that the responsibility lay at the feet of the Knicks. They should have understood when they traded for Carmelo that he didn’t bring the intangibles of a team leader with him. He is a pure scorer. Their failure to put someone else on the floor that could bring up the play of everyone else is the single reason they haven’t sniffed a Finals since Patrick Ewing retired. Until that changes anyone hoping for Anthony to suddenly have an epiphany is kidding themselves. He is good at one thing in this league. Leading the way to a championship isn’t it.

Source

What should the Knicks do with Carmelo Anthony?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • EJ Lambert profile image
      Author

      EJ Lambert 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      It's a fair comparison. His teams rarely make it out of the first round and never seem to show that edge champions exude as the playoffs go deeper. That speaks to a void in leadership.

    • Man of Strength profile image

      Man of Strength 4 years ago from Orlando, Fl

      Great hub and very accurate. I don't think Anthony will ever win a championship unless he joins another team in a supporting role. Some people compare him to Tracy McGrady back in his Orlando days.

    • EJ Lambert profile image
      Author

      EJ Lambert 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I'd say if the Knicks flop again next season it might jar him in the head enough to realize he's going nowhere with that team. The future prospects are way brighter for the Bulls at this point. They have Thibs. They have a leader in Rose. All they need is a scorer. That is Melo.

    • NickCavender profile image

      NickCavender 4 years ago from Fairmont, WV

      I agree 100%. As a Celtics fan, I was sad to see Thibadeau leave because he's a great team-oriented defensive coach. Melo needs a coach who can change his outlook on basketball before he will ever find success. Do you think he would want to leave New York for Chicago, though? He's from Brooklyn originally and went to Syracuse. He wants to win there.

    • EJ Lambert profile image
      Author

      EJ Lambert 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      What he needs is a head coach who isn't afraid to tell him. They don't have that in New York right now. It's why I'm championing a movement to get him over to Chicago. Thibodeau has been great at getting his players in buying into a team concept, much like Gregg Popovich in San Antonio. Until he finds a coach like that Melo won't change.

    • NickCavender profile image

      NickCavender 4 years ago from Fairmont, WV

      It's often been said that the NBA is a diva's league right now, but no one showcases that more than 'Melo. It's great to have that guy on your team who's not afraid to have the ball in his hands at crunch time. I will forever respect players who want to take that shot with the game on the line. But the best players know that basketball is a team game. Phil Jackson was great at making huge egos buy into the team concept, and that's why Jordan, Pippen, Shaq and Kobe have their rings.

      Anthony wants to be the Knicks' franchise guy, yeah, but he has a hard time understanding that individual ability does not translate into wins. He felt threatened by Jeremy Lin? Nothing is more threatening to a diva like 'Melo than someone on his own team besides himself playing well and stealing his thunder. Carmelo needs to learn that every action he takes on and off the court should help increase the team's chances of winning, and it takes more than 30 ppg and a shiny spotlight to win a championship.

    • EJ Lambert profile image
      Author

      EJ Lambert 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I appreciate that. To me the Knicks squandered a big opportunity when they let Jeremy Lin walk. While not quite an All-Star, it was clear the other players responded to him. He brought energy and effort. Yet the Knicks let him walk because Carmelo felt threatened. That is bad basketball business.

    • dontaytte profile image

      dontaytte 4 years ago from Palos Hills

      Great hub. Carmelo needs to do allot of soul searching this season. I also would put some of the blame on the Knicks. When they signed Amare Stoudemire they were on to something with Mike D'antoni. When they traded for Anthony they traded most of their young talent for someone who is hard to build a team around. Your two highest paid players do not play well together and they used the rest of their cap space to sign players who are way past there prime. The problem is that they really have no where else to go. For Carmelo to win he needs to follow these instructions. Learn how to move without the ball, take defense seriously, become a leader, and most importantly PASS THE DAMN BALL!!!! Again great hub, I'll be sharing this one around.

    • EJ Lambert profile image
      Author

      EJ Lambert 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I appreciate it, my friend. Quite honestly it isn't hard to see since its been happening to Melo since Denver. If the guy hadn't figured it out before leaving there, what made the Knicks think he would change for them? It's clear he likes the spotlight and can play well under pressure, but only as a scorer. Teams that need him to do more are fooling themselves.

    • prospectboy profile image

      Bradrick H. 4 years ago from Texas

      This is an amazing breakdown on the Knicks, and the lack of leadership that Carmelo Anthony provides. Me and one of my friends talk often about how sad it is that the Knicks have all the talent in the world, but Carmelo's inability to involve his teammates is their downfall. Great players in my opinion make their teammates better, and Anthony has yet to do that. I think he likes having all of the attention on him and his abilities, and I think that's a lot of the reason why Jeremy Lin left. I give Carmelo his props for his scoring abilities, but he needs to work on his defense, passing, and leadership skills. Great breakdown again. Voted up, rated awesome, interesting, and shared.