With LeBron James having a NBA championship under his belt, the ringless conversation has switched to the New York Knicks star, Carmelo Anthony. Carmelo Anthony is an elite talent, but with mediocre work ethic; Anthony has offensive gifts that lead the league, but his defensive talents are just meh-ish. He’s incessantly compared to Kevin Durant and LeBron James; one is an NBA champ and the other has seen the NBA Finals, but is it Melo’s time to shine?
Can he lead NY past the first round let alone an NBA championship?
His record speaks for itself. He has been out of the first round of the playoffs once and that year he went to the Western Conference Finals in which the Nuggets failed to the mighty Lakers. Before I go on, Carmelo has to be credited for revitalizing Denver as well as being in a tough conference, but at the same time, we have to make peace with what Carmelo Anthony is.
And what is he exactly?
He’s a one-dimensional — an amazing offensive talent — player that has a record of not trusting teammates. This is also known as not giving up the ball, it was well documented in Denver and it’s been noticeable in New York. He doesn’t trust his teammates to be able to offensively contribute to take the team to the next level. To an extent, I can understand his hesitation in New York with Amar’e with his poor production last year along with gunner J.R. Smith. However, it ends there.
He is in, arguably, the biggest media market in the sports world and he is under a microscope. It’s less about the mistakes Smith makes, or if Raymond Felton isn’t fit because it all boils down to what Anthony does or does not do. He will be forever be compared to LeBron James — although it’s extremely unfair to be compared to the greatest basketball player on the planet — until that time comes. Trusting his teammates and allowing other scoring threats to take over the wheel at times is the first step for Melo.
Obviously, another issue is chemistry among the new-look Knicks. With the additions of Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton, Marcus Camby, Ronnie Brewer etc, it would seem New York is a better team. The veteran presence of Jason Kidd would situate the Knicks and having a defensive back-up when Chandler is on the bench in Camby is valuable as well. However, will Carmelo (and Amar’e) give a little of their own selfishness so the Knicks can gel appropriately?
There’s also the fact, the Knicks will have a full training camp as well as Amar’e spending much of the summer working on his post game with Hakeem Olajuwon, but will it still be the same old Knicks?
Only time will tell, but for now there’s an immense amount of expectations on Carmelo Anthony’s shoulders to lead this team into the playoffs and the Knicks fan base is hungry for a post season outside of the first round.
Carmelo Anthony is an extremely gifted player, but nothing is more frustrating than watching a player settle and being content with a half-ass effort. The unanswered question is will Carmelo Anthony lesson on his iso-heavy game and incorporate the other talented pieces on the Knicks.
Can Anthony lead the Knicks out of the first round?
One thing is for sure, Melo has the keys, but will he turn the ignition?