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Were The Knicks Better Off Without Carmelo Anthony?

Submitted by on March 8, 2012 – 10:22 am3 Comments

The New York Knicks are sinking fast.

Lin-Sanity is no longer the rave of the NBA as the Knickerbockers have dropped six of nine and are looking relatively pedestrian as of late. It’s a strange thing to see considering that the Knicks’ biggest star is at full strength. And I’m not talking about Jeremy Lin; this is about Carmelo Anthony.

From January 4-15, the Knicks won seven games in a row as Jeremy Lin took off virtually out of nowhere to lead the team to their longest winning streak of the season. There was no Carmelo Anthony or Amare Stoudemire in sight. They clawed their way to 15-15 and basketball pundits began to question just how good this Knicks team could actually be. Then Amare came back and the Knicks lost to New Orleans. Two games later, Carmelo Anthony came back and New York has gone 2-5 since his return.

Today, the Knicks are 18-21 and it appears that the wheels are slowly falling off of the NYK bandwagon. You can try to blame Jeremy Lin if you want to, but it’s hard to expect him to play at the extremely high level that he was at when he was forced to be “The Man.” It was expected for his numbers to take a dip when both Amare and Carmelo returned to the lineup. But Baron Davis also made his long awaited season debut.

But something strange is happening in New York. The stars simply aren’t aligning. Lin is trying to defer to Carmelo and Amare but it’s just not working out. Amare can’t seem to find his rhythm in the offense and Carmelo jus t doesn’t seem like he’s playing with his team.  If you look at Anthony’s season, he is simply having a horrific shooting percentage and he’s trying to shoot himself out of the funk.  Here’s a little stat that says a whole lot about Anthony’s season and how it is killing the Knicks: Anthony has shot over 50% in 7 out of the 29 games he has played in. On the flipside, he has shot under 30% in 5 of those games. For a player of his caliber, that’s unacceptable. Especially when you consider the shot opportunities he is taking away from his fellow players. A season field goal percentage hovering around 38% is crippling the Knicks. Initially you’d argue that there was too much pressure on ‘Melo. You might be right. But once Lin emerged, it should have given Anthony more open looks. That has not been true. An abysmal 2-12 shooting night against the Dallas Mavericks is evidence that the tandem of ‘Melo, Lin, and Stoudemire just isn’t working.

Yes, Lin is getting torched by elite point guards and Amare isn’t in any rhythm offensively (remember, before Carmelo arrived Stoudemire was having a helluva 2011 campaign), but Carmelo Anthony has to figure out what he can do to help the Knicks instead of hurt them. Until then, Lin-Sanity is slowly dying, Stoudemire’s stock is dropping and Knicks fans are getting that familiar losing feeling all over again.

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