It’s hard watching three of your draft-classmates winning NBA titles while you’re left behind. Carmelo Anthony feels his window of winning a championship his closing, but on the New York Knicks, and as a number one player, it’s not going to happen.
With Anthony turning 30 at the end of next season, the thoughts of NBA-mortality and shelf life start creeping in. Last season wasn’t the healthiest in the world for Anthony, missing 15 games. He had some weird fasting issue and also problems with his shoulder. It didn’t stop him from winning the NBA’s scoring crown with 28.7 points per game while playing 37 minutes a night and shooting 22.2 times per game.
As he enters a season that at the end of it he can opt out of his contract, it’s hard to believe the Knicks are going to try and reduce his workload, at least in games. The Lakers adding him is a huge threat, and Anthony doesn’t seem like the kind of player who’ll give up a maximum contract in order to help a team win a championship. The Knicks need to make him feel happy, and confident that they’re doing everything they can to please him.
But we’ve been through this before. Anthony, as a number one player, just isn’t going to cut it for a team wanting to win an NBA title. Not with the kind of payroll and players on it the Knicks have – Tyson Chandler, Amare Soutdemire, Andrea Bargnani. Too much money spent on forwards and big men, while the guards and bench isn’t good enough to do anything but be Anthony’s lackeys on the court.
The basketball isn’t going to be much different, the effort isn’t going to be much different. Anthony is going to get the ball a lot in the low post, and Mike Woodson is going to hope his star player makes good decisions. The rest seems to be pure luck, and hoping the players beside Chandler, Shumpert and Metta World Peace feel like playing defense.
Funny how the Knicks finished second last season in the East but without a single person thinking they can beat the Miami Heat en route to an NBA finals. They were beaten badly by the Indiana Pacers, and heading into next season, the most optimistic predictions put them as the fourth best team in the East. The Brooklyn Nets might even be a better squad, which means the Knicks might finish fifth in the East.
Gambling so much on Anthony and others paid off if making the Knicks relevant against as a playoff team was the goal, but it obviously wasn’t. Sadly, there aren’t that many superstars who can get maximum money and actually be worth it when you consider challenging for titles being good value for money. The decisions made to build this team certainly pack it with fading star power, but not enough quality or balance to have a shot at going further than the conference semifinals in the East before having to blow up the roster.