Melo Brings Unease to Knick Opponents

By Jerald L. Hoover BASN Staff Writer
Updated: April 1, 2011

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NEW YORK—This week marks an historic week for the new Knick All-star forward Carmelo Anthony. Against the Orlando Magic, Melo poured in 39 points in a 113-106 Knick win. Against the New Jersey Nets, Mr. Anthony went off again and dropped 39 big ones in another Knick win, 120-116. In both games, he’s gone off in the 3rd quarter scoring 19 and 20 points respectively.

Melo isn’t just scoring in bunches but he’s also rebounding with gusto, which is a great help and need for the undermanned and undersized Knicks. Not to mention, his forward counterpart Amare Stoudemire is working with tired legs. Stoudemire had one, yes one rebound against the Nets; and that rebound was recorded in the early part of the game. The Knicks overall are simply too small in the cakes to do anything substantial this season. The Nets out rebounded them 51-39. And the teams defensive fundamentals are virtually nonexistent.

Melo is one of the best offensive forces in the league. He is un-guardable as he’ll post up, shoot the mid-range jumper and also stretch out for the three-ball. Stoudemire too is an unstoppable force, but not in the same class as Melo. That might not be such a bad thing however. Melo is known as a “Closer”. And he’s tied with Kobe Bryant at 15 for game winning shots. In some respects he’s ahead of Bryant as he’s only been in the League for 7 seasons while Bryant for fifteen.

The main reason why it’s not such a bad situation for Melo to be a notch above is with a pecking order the team can run a lot smoother. And it doesn’t have to be a “who’s the man” type of thing. Not with these too. They’re both superstars and of the higher maintenance sort, but not of the diva sort. At least that isn’t the appearance that has been presented thus far.

Now if they collectively would take more pride in to becoming lock down defenders then the Knicks would really be a feared team. Wunderkind point guard, Brandon Jennings who roasted the Knicks for 37 points recently said, “the Knicks are the easiest team in the league to score against.” Take that Golden State Warriors! And another scout who witnessed the Knicks play in person said, “they don’t seem to have a defensive philosophy to speak of.”

New York fans aren’t used to that. If one were to go to a Knicks game (yes, even now) they would hear loud chants of “De-Fence!” not “Off-Fence!” The value of getting a key stop at a pivotal point of a game continues to be almost life transforming.

The Net scored 68 points in the first half, but in the second half they only mustered 48 points. With that there’s a notion that the team can play defense if they would at least stay in a stance and communicate long enough. And oh, make sure they offer weak-side help by covering for one another.

In the end in order for the Knicks to proceed further they will have to bring in guys with size and make defense a part of there overall vocabulary.