The New York Knicks have gotten to the Conference Semifinals of this year’s NBA playoffs, but they won’t advance past that round unless star forward Carmelo Anthony can end his shooting woes immediately.
After getting off to a hot start in the playoffs, Anthony has shot just 32 percent from the field over his last four games despite posting 26.5 points per game over that stretch. Entering today’s game against the Indiana Pacers, Anthony was averaging 29.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game but shooting just 38 percent from the field and 26.5 percent from long range.
The fact of the matter is that Anthony is the Knicks’ star player for a reason. This is the same man who led the league in scoring for the 2012-13 season, and it’s just odd to see him struggling so much with his shot as of late.
Yes, I understand that so much of his game comes from taking shots with a hand in his face and making the attempts that no other player wants to even consider, but let’s not forget that the Pacers are no joke when it comes to defense. The team ranked first in rebounding and second in points allowed during the regular season. If there’s any team that can slow down the Knicks’ attack, it’s Indiana.
This is why New York management should be concerned about Anthony’s slump. Rather than adjust his game accordingly, he’s still in a stage where he’s continuing to play the way he always has and just hoping for the best. In reality, he should focus on taking high-percentage shots and only going for jumpers when he has a legitimate shot at making them.
So long as Anthony can adopt that type of attitude on the court and not try so hard to be the electrifying superstar, New York’s chances of advancing past the Pacers and into the Conference Finals could soon become a reality.
Otherwise, their postseason could come to an abrupt end.