Why You Can’t Blame Carmelo Anthony for the Knicks first-round exit
By: Steve Rawnsley
Carmelo Anthony is the biggest fool’s gold in the NBA. He takes other teammates out of rhythm. The way he handled his situation last year was disrespectful to his team. It is no coincidence that the Nuggets have had a better record than the Knicks since the trade last year. In fact, the including the playoffs, the Knicks are 51-51 with Melo. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Melo has the worst record in playoff history for those that have played more than fifty playoff games. These are just some of the complaints Melo’s biggest critics say about him, including myself. He will take a ton of heat for the Knicks getting beat; however, he does not deserve it this time.
First, the Heat are just a much better team than the Knicks. The Heat are the favorites to represent the East in the Finals again. Look at the starting lineups and the Knicks only have the advantage at center. (No offense, Haslem fans.) The Knicks are just a mess, plain and simple. Stoudemire is not a max salary player. He was a great player in Phoenix, but he has fallen off because of two things the Knicks knew about before they offered him the max offer.
First, he is elite at finishing on the move, and he was getting a lot of good opportunities to finish, set up
by Steve Nash. He is now, being asked to do his own work, and he is no longer set up by an elite PG. He also has bad knees, and this was not a secret when he signed. He has lost some of his explosiveness because of his knees. Don’t blame this bad contract on Melo.
There is no denying that the biggest x-factor in sports is health. For the most part, there is very little you can do to prevent injuries. Look at this Knicks team and you see injuries up and down this roster. No matter how you view Lincanity, there is no denying the Knicks season turned when he became a starter, and they are a better team with him. Baron Davis is not a good starter at this point in his career. Now, he is out for about a year. The fact that Mike Bibby is getting playing time, and could start at point guard tells you how much they miss Lin.
As stated before, the only clear cut advantage the Knicks had in the lineup was center. Tyson Chandler was a game time decision for game one, and even said he was not 100% heading into game two. That took away the only clear cut advantage the Knicks had heading into the series for at least the first two games. In typical Knicks fashion, Amar’e Stoudemire has to do one of the most idiotic things I have ever heard anybody doing after game two. Apparently, Amar’e thought nothing would happen after punching glass, or that he could beat glass. Of course Amar’e Stoudemire lost that battle. The player the Knicks wanted to compliment Melo, is hobbled.
The forgotten piece for the Knicks is Iman Shumpert who tore his ACL in game one. He is a very versatile defender, and is probably the Knicks best perimeter defender. He was the starting SG for the Knicks in the final month of the season.
Now, Melo was the only healthy starter for the whole series. I do not care what team you are. If you only have one healthy starter for a series, you are not winning much in the playoffs. Do not blame Melo for Amar’e Stoudemire’s contract.
Are these injuries that have piled up for the Knicks Melo’s fault? Are the Knicks a better team than the Heat? If you said no to these questions, can you really blame Melo for another first round exit?