The Knicks were tied for the worst record in the NBA going into the Thursday night game with the Nets. But now they’ve won the last two games both by blowout scores.
What happened? I think you have to take it at face value. Carmelo Anthony figured something out that has up to now eluded him — that he plays on a team. I know that sounds flip or sarcastic, but it’s actually the most direct way to say it. I’m sure he’s a very smart guy (again, no sarcasm) because to perform at the level he does requires not just great physical ability, he’s got to have a great computer upstairs. But things elude even very smart people. I speak from experience, with all possible humility. Sometimes the truth is hiding in plain sight.
It is very easy to defend against the Knicks if there is only one strong shooter on the team. So when Melo is the only one connecting, the Knicks lose. Over time, they start losing a lot. That’s what happened in the first sixteen games in this season. What happened in the Nets game, and it worked, is that other guys got hot, and Melo let them have the ball.
If the Knicks want to try a really radical approach now, they might cast Melo not as a forward, rather as the point guard. It’s his job to bring the ball back on the offense. Then he calls the play and gets the ball to the open man. He’s watching the defense as much as the offense. Who have they left open. Bing. That’s the guy. That’s a good next approach, imho in redesigning the Knicks with the current roster. Don’t trade anyone.
The last two games have been fun to watch. That’s all I ask for as a fan. Sure it would be nice if the Knicks were to go deep into the playoffs. But I know I’m going to see good basketball in the last couple of rounds no matter who makes it. In the meantime, they’re my neighborhood team. They play just down the street. It would be nice if their games were fun and interesting to watch.
In any case nice job! 🙂
PS: Now that I have an NBA river, I’m getting more of the good gossip. I realized I needed it when my building super knew more about the Knicks than I did because he reads the NY Post. Even though their politics are offensive, their Knicks reporting is good. Anyway, they say that Melo is trying to recruit Rajon Rondo from the Celtics to play on the Knicks. That actually would be a good move, imho. A strong fast even explosive point guard to go with Melo would probably work really well. Like OKC with Westbrook and Durant. You need both to make it work. I think oddly, the Knicks would be much better off if they had kept Jeremy Lin, and if Melo had been willing to work with him (he was clearly offended by his presence). But Rondo, Melo and Chandler (if he gets healthy) would be a pretty awesome combination.