Monday, January 23, 2012

What Goes On Inside of Carmelo Anthony's Head?

For anyone that watched the game against the Denver Nuggets, it seemed that the crowd was really trying to send a message to Carmelo Anthony: pass the ball and stop shooting. The Knicks' best stretch during that game came when Melo was on the bench and the Knicks moved the ball and themselves and got some open looks and most importantly, the shots went down.

Until the last two minutes or so of the 4th quarter, Anthony was just 3-17 from the field, following a 5-22 performance against Phoenix. When Melo seemed content to not pass the ball and instead look for his own shot, the crowd moaned in dismay and even began booing him after his misses. After the game, a lot of attention was given to Carmelo's unusual introspective ways. There quotes like this:
Maybe I need to not take so many shots. Maybe I should take the blame for the games weve been losing, offensive struggles. Coach does run the offense through me. So Ill take it. Ill take that blame.
Well, yeah, Carmelo. That's the point I think a lot of people have been trying to get across to you for a long time. Nonetheless, it was good to hear the team's newly-appointed captain acknowledge his lackluster performance. But then, after today's practice, Melo just went back to being... himself. Both tweets are from Howard Beck.
Carmelo not rethinking his shot selection, despite his remarks Saturday. “I was just beating myself up," he said.
Carmelo on shot selection, cont: "If I’d have made some of them shots, then I probably wouldn't have said that."
So, there you have it. All is well in Carmelo Anthony's world and his moment of clarity, his near epiphany was just beating himself up. Some quick numbers for you:

 - Over last three games, Melo is 26-78 from the field, good for 33% shooting
 - Over the last three games, Amar'e Stoudemire 17-44, only 39%, but nearly 40 less shots.
 - Over the last two games, the starting lineup, excluding Anthony has taken 74 shots. Melo's taken 56.

There is clearly a shot distribution problem here and the post-practice comments that Anthony made today basically couldn't have been any worse. It's Melo's job to recognize when the shot isn't falling and instead concentrate on passing the ball, which he actually is quite good at. However, it's also D'Antoni's job and whomever the PG is - usually, Shump - to wave of Melo and run a set.

It will be very interesting to see what the Knicks' offense looks like in Tuesday's game against Charlotte.

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