What’s great about this clip and can be faintly heard in the background is that the Heat’s PA announcer says “he has been extinguished from the game” in reference to the hand injury.
Thanks to SB Nation’s Andrew Sharp for pointing this out on Twitter. Appearances from some other names you might know: McCants, Brown, Iguodala, May, and Jordan himself.
This will be the only time ever you’ll ever see Shavlik Randolph clowning Carmelo and Amar’e.
If you really believe the Knicks are going to struggle when Carmelo Anthony gets back, you’re likely one of the idiots who believes that having Russell Westbrook hurts the Oklahoma City Thunder. Let me know how that works out for you. It’s also highly probably you don’t think the Heat are title contenders. Please note, for the record, that I don’t enjoy people like you who share asinine ideas like that. Alas, let’s make an attempt at an insult free analysis of why the Knicks are going to be excellent when Carmelo gets back, which could happen as soon as tonight.
It is no secret that Mike D’Antoni prefers an offense that revolves around the use of the pick-and-roll. Duh. When Carmelo gets back that’s not going to change, most especially with the recent success they’ve had running it with Lin. Carmelo understands this. Expect the Knicks to still start a vast majority of their possessions with a pick-and-roll utilizing Tyson Chandler.
As you may have noticed recently, most especially in yesterday’s game against the Mavericks, teams are starting to key on Lin in order to disrupt the offensive flow. The preferred method used by Dallas was to double team Lin as soon as he ran the first pick-and-roll. It usually resulted in him having to pull back to reset the offense or send a long pass over to the wing where a Dallas defender was waiting to intercept. You can see it briefly here at the 5:09 mark of this clip (no need to keep watching after ten seconds or so):
Note that Steve Novak’s defender, Lamar Odom, chooses in this instance to protect against the rolling Knicks player, Jared Jeffries. This opens up Novak for the pass to the wing and eventually he creates an isolation bucket through a pump fake and Odom’s being off balance. Steve Novak, in that lineup, is playing the three. He replaced Bill Walker who was injured late last week.
Bill Walker replaced Carmelo Anthony.
Before Lin’s emergence as an elite pick-and-roll point guard, teams that played the Knicks were keying on Carmelo because of the lack of ball movement within the Knicks half court sets. They’d often double team him or simply rely on the low percentages that come about as a result of forced shots from isolation offense.
Now, teams will have a huge decision to make when playing against the Knicks. Will they fall back to using a help defender to limit the game of Carmelo Anthony? Or will they continue to double team Lin off the pick-and-roll? This is a HUGE question that I guarantee you is driving opposing head coaches crazy right now. On the one hand, Lin is no where near the talent of Anthony, but he has proven he can consistently kill teams on the pick-and-roll. To not give him his proper respect might be a quick death sentence. On the other hand though, doubling Lin means that Carmelo Anthony has a 100% guaranteed one-on-one matchup coming off the result of a cut to the ball (rather than a post up). There are maybe two guys in the NBA who can guard Carmelo Anthony with no help, especially if they’re off balanced like Odom was in that clip. He’s going to be a huge beneficiary of Lin’s recent success.
Another important element to point out is that the Knicks still have options when they face a team strong enough to play a standard man-to-man based defense (think: Bulls, Heat). This point was brought up by SI’s Zach Lowe in a blog post last week. Lowe verifies that the Knicks will still start possessions with the Lin/Chandler pick-and-roll. However, sometimes that just doesn’t work and New York is forced to reset the possession with about 12 seconds left in the shot clock. At that time, it’s likely not a good idea for Lin to continue to hold onto the ball and wouldn’t you know it, Carmelo Anthony is going to be the guy he passes to. What the Knicks can then do is utilize the same tactic LeBron and D-Wade use whereby the two most talented offensive players on the floor play pick-and-roll. Only in this case it will be Carmelo and Amar’e. You can see what a problem this will be for teams in this video evidence:
As Grantland’s Sebastian Pruiti describes this play, “No defense would allow Anthony to come off a screen untouched, so Kris Humphries, Stoudemire’s defender, hedges hard at Anthony and traps him before he starts his dribble. This is a perfect opportunity to slip the screen, and Stoudemire, being the fantastic roll man that he is, reads it perfectly and slips to the rim with space. The result is an easy finish.” While you might be right in wondering aloud why in the hell the Knicks don’t run this option 20+ times a game, I can guarantee you that you’ll start to see more of it in the future.
The final argument in Carmelo’s favor is that he perfectly embodies the NBA definition of a go-to scorer. Every NBA champion in history has had one of these guys. A simple way of describing them would be that they can score points no matter what the other team throws at them. Good examples include Kobe, Dirk, and Durant. As tends to be the case in playoff series, teams that succeed often have a player who can bail them out when the elite playoff defenses come out to shut down the normal flow of the offense.
Carmelo Anthony is probably the most gifted scorer in the game and so long as he’s willing to let the offense start off by flowing through Lin, the Knicks are going to be great. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but they actually have a roster that looks like it could contend for a title. Carmelo is the superstar, Amar’e is the pseudo superstar who can score and rebound, Tyson Chandler is the defensive anchor, Landry Fields is an athletic wingman and an above average defender, J.R. Smith is the irrational confidence guy off the bench/sixth man, Jared Jeffries can relieve either Stoudemire or Chandler without being too much of a liability, and Steve Novak/Bill Walker can knock down open threes. And of course all of this keys off of the distributing/unselfish play of Jeremy Lin who is more than happy to oblige. When you throw in whatever Iman Shumpert can give you, that’s a team that has every traditional key role filled.
Holy crap. The Knicks are title contenders.
Big Baby’s quote pretty much sums up Stoudemire’s performance: “I didn’t do (bleep) today except get dunked on.”
The Knicks went on to lose to another mediocre team. Talk about an enigmatic team.
Get that junk out of here!
Amar’e can’t play defense, but he sure can posterize people. The Knicks went on to lose to the lowly Cavs last night, too.
The NBA is a superstar-driven league; this is obvious. Just look at all of the top teams in the league – Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Antonio, Chicago – and they’re all equipped with at least one, two or even three superstars.
So when the Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony, the best all-around scorer in the NBA and a bona fide, still-in-his-prime stud, the Knicks instantly became one of the few lucky teams with more than one superstar. If I’m a Knick fan, I don’t know how you can’t be ecstatic that your team just landed the ‘Cuse grad. And I’m not overly concerned that they had to give up three starters that contributed 50+ points per game and a few draft picks to do so.
Let’s examine the trade a little more closely. The Knicks gave up Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, a 2014 first-round pick, and some additional cash and/or picks in the future in return for essentially Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups. The most valuable player dealt in the trade was the 22-year-old sharp shooter, Gallinari, and he’s at best a quality role player (at least at this point), and he plays the same position as Anthony. Other than that, I wouldn’t lose sleep over any of the other players dealt. Felton’s a better fit in D’Antoni’s system than Billups, but Billups is far from a slouch, and he has something that Felton doesn’t: legit playoff experience. Need I not remind you that Felton has played in just four career playoff games and got absolutely destroyed by Jameer Nelson in that series. Jameer Nelson! Of course Felton’s stats have exploded this season, he’s playing in an offensive-friendly system. Regarding Chandler, he was never going to be re-signed and there’s a decent chance ‘Melo produces as much offense as Gallinari and Chandler combined. I’m going to refrain from commenting on the loss of Mozgov and the 2014 first-round pick because it’s way too early to start surmising on the true impact.
So what’s wrong with this trade?
Obviously the Knicks would rather have landed ‘Melo via free agency, but that was so far away from a guarantee it wasn’t worth the wait, especially when ‘Melo made it clear that he wanted that $65 million extension. We all saw how successful the Knicks were at recruiting LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to come to NY, so when the Knicks were offered a mulligan to land another superstar, they had to do so without hesitation. Sure, the Knicks had to pay a much steeper price than they initially anticipated – they can thank the savvy Russion Billionaire for that – but they should be pretty stoked that they now have two of the ten players starting on this year’s all-star team. Only the Miami Heat can say that.
(If you’re a Nuggets fan, you’re probably deeply depressed that you just lost a superstar, but at least you can find solace in the fact that you got something for him, unlike Cleveland and Toronto. And as Matt pointed out earlier this morning, they got quite a lot in return, especially when you consider the cap relief and the coveted trade exception that will pay extreme dividends in the future. Denver fans, this situation could have ended a whole lot worse.)
The biggest question moving forward is whether the Knicks can improve from here. They have two superstars, but besides that, they’re stuck with not much else besides Landry Fields and Billups. They’re stranded by the salary cap. Their defense is going to be comical, but D’Antoni’s teams aren’t exactly known for their defensive intensity. Billups can be a short-term answer at PG, but he’s wearing down and the Knicks are going to have to address that position sooner than later. Are they actually going to be able to afford either Deron Williams or Chris Paul? Highly doubtful, especially since with the new CBA coming. Let’s be honest: The Knicks have a very, very long way to go until they can contend with the top teams in the East. It’s going to take awhile for them to mesh (see: Miami Heat’s start to the season). Saying that, though, the Knicks are in better position today than they were yesterday morning. Obviously there are major questions to be addresses (i.e. defense, pick-and-roll effectiveness, three-point shooting, depth, etc.), but at the end of the day the Knicks got their man, the best player in the deal far and away.
The Knicks haven’t been relevant since the 90s when they had that feisty squad filled with the likes of John Starks, Charles Oakley, Patrick Ewing and Kenny Anderson. Knicks fans can now hope again, and that’s something they haven’t been able to do in years. They can hope that they somehow land CP3 or Deron and form a new super-team that can rival Miami’s. They can hope that certain players will take lower salaries to play at Madison Square Garden. They can hope that this team will make numerous deep runs through the playoffs. With ‘Melo and Amar’e, it’s not outlandish to dream big.
The Knicks are officially relevant again.
It’s a new era, one that’s going to be filled with excitement and intrigue.
Let the madness begin at The Garden!
The Phoenix Suns overcame a monster effort from Amar’e Stoudemire (a season-high 41 points) and defeated the New York Knicks on MLK day.
Pretty sweet dunk from Lopez here:
Didn’t think Lopez had this in him…
It’s been way too long since we’ve had an entertaining fight in the NBA. An Artest-Stoudemire duel would’ve been great!
Rare that you see ‘Bron on the receiving end of one of these.