‘Melo Likes To Be the #1 Guy

25 01 2012

If you were told that ‘Melo put up .9% of his team’s points and his team won, would you go double check that information or simply ignore the ridiculous statement?

As the New York Knicks pounded the Charlotte Bobcats, 111-78, Carmelo Anthony went without a field goal for the first time in his career – disregarding games where he received an injury in the first few minutes. He had as many points as missed field goals during this weekend of football. Even with a full 30 minutes, #7 could not find his rhythm whatsoever and had an abysmal night.

 

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
30 0-7 0-2 1-1 0 11 11 4 0 0 1 0 13 1

 

This victory over the Bobcats has to be considered an anomaly for the Knicks. Tyson Chandler won’t put up 20 points a night. Landry Fields won’t put up 18 points a night. The bench won’t score 51 points a night. That said, the single point Anthony contributed won’t suffice in the current system D’Antoni runs. He has to score and he has to score nightly for them to even have a chance.

As the Knicks primary force on offense, Carmelo has a heavy burden on his shoulders and the team expects him to give it his all every game. 100% effort. 100% of the time. The fact that ‘Melo continues his abysmal shooting of late (35-112 shooting from the field the past 5 games) doesn’t bode well for the next few games or for rest of the season.Even though people will find a way to put a positive spin on the Knicks finally breaking their 6-game losing streak (well, look how great the Knicks can play without their star showing up), this should actually bring more stress into the Knicks’ management. Also, they beat the Bobcats… congrats.

When ‘Melo talks in interviews, the fervor he had when he first got to New York has already seemed to disappear. He sounds similar to the frustrated ‘Melo from his last few years in Denver. Here’s a quote from Anthony after their overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets:

“Maybe I need to not take so many shots. I don’t know. There’s just a bunch of stuff that goes through my mind. Just [trying to figure] out ways to make other guys better. Should I pass it more?”

Close your eyes. Now picture this: Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, or Dirk Nowitzki making a comment like this to the media… now open them. Why were unable to visualize this notion? It is because not one of these players would ever make a statement like Carmelo’s.

Through the thick and thin, no matter the losing streak, leaders don’t get let slumps get them down. Basketball is a game of runs and sometimes good players just go on bad runs. The great players keep shooting. All of these men (including Carmelo Anthony) are franchise players and have their team role set in stone. When it comes to statements given to the media by the four other players, they in no way will ever allow any sort of weakness or doubt to be inferred by the interviewers.

Melo’ uses the “I don’t know” phrase which should be a flashing red light for unsureness and also asks his interviewers a question about his play. Really? Hypothetical or not, his tone did not fit a 25 ppg type of all-star player.

The way Anthony played tonight after saying this a few days before justifies why I’m making a bigger deal out of the quote than most. Of course, Anthony’s ability to score so easily and naturally can’t be disputed. Besides Kevin Durant, no one else gets their shot off as well as Anthony. But shouldn’t this exact reason be a cause for concern? How could someone so talented and so gifted at the sport of basketball be this bad?

I believe you have to look towards his desire to play the game. Many talk about Kobe Bryant’s and Derrick Roses’s hunger to play basketball – is this just fading away for Anthony?

I wish I knew the answers to all these questions revolving around Anthony, but I would probably have a better chance figuring out who Dwight Howard will be playing for next year than what is going on with Carmelo Anthony.

As many say, none of this should matter since the Knicks got the W tonight. That argument will work sometimes, but tonight that’s not the case. Tonight, A big problem was exposed in a little win. With poor point guard play, a flawed coaching scheme, and inconsistent bench production, the Knicks need the Carmelo Anthony that defeated the Boston Celtics in the first game of the season. If ‘Melo does not buy 100% into this New York Knicks team, if ‘Melo does not get his confidence back, if ‘Melo does not become more of a leader, Spike Lee might need to find a new sports team to follow. Or a new hobby.

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