Carmelo Anthony shouldn’t have ever landed in New York, never be a part of that trade that sent Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov to the Denver Nuggets. This isn’t about how he meshes with Jeremy Lin, but more the fact that he has nothing to do with the style Mike D’Antoni is still trying to implement with the team for the fourth season.
It’s not because Anthony can’t work with Jeremy Lin. I just don’t see him playing with any point guard in a D’Antoni system. It’s down to a simple question that the Knicks’ front office, James Dolan and Glen Grunwald or whoever it is that calls the shots there (Still Isiah??!!) needs to ask themselves and answer.
Is Mike D’Antoni the head coach we think can make this team a contender? If yes, the Carmelo Anthony, while being a very nice gimmick last season and obviously big in jersey sales, shouldn’t be on this team. If no, then fire D’Antoni, because obviously, things aren’t working.
It’s not that I’m a huge D’Antoni fan, but I’m even a bigger non-fan of Carmelo Anthony. The guy is a great scorer, but he’s not that good for a franchise to completely build around. His style is anti-teamwork, and his effort and work rate just not there on some nights. There’s a reason he’s been through the first round of the NBA playoffs only once. Those Denver teams of the last 7-8 years have been better equipped than these Knicks, and they still didn’t make it.
Maybe it’s easy, and a bit wrong, throwing the entire blame on Anthony. But he just doesn’t seem to be the player to build a franchise around. He came out of one of the most loaded draft classes in NBA history, but he’s not LeBron James or Dwyane Wade. He’s more like Chris Bosh, and you saw Toronto never got anywhere. Being the alpha-guy on a team who wants to become great again and challenge for titles again just doesn’t fit ‘Melo.
The Jeremy Lin festival is long gone. Carmelo Anthony has returned, and the Knicks have won only two of their last ten games. Anthony is 38.9% from the field in March, all losses. Amar’e Stoudemire is clearly going through something, while D’Antoni can’t win with a stuck offense, with players pulling in different directions, and no defense no matter who’s on the court.
It’s a question of chemistry, and it’s clearly gone. While Anthony was out, the Knicks looked actually like a team enjoying basketball, teammates enjoying to play with each other. This hierarchy, with Anthony pulling up for shots that don’t have anything to do with the flow of the game, don’t work with this kind of roster, with this kind of style. D’Antoni is no genius, it’s getting more and more apparent. The Suns were great because of Steve Nash. But this style can work, to a certain point, with the right tools.
Jeremy Lin isn’t an All-Star point guard, but he belongs in the NBA and probably as a starter. He’s no longer amazing, just OK, but he runs the floor well enough to make this thing work. Carmelo, despite being the most talented player on this roster, shouldn’t be there. I think the Knicks come out as a better team if they manage, somehow, to pull off this trade.