The New York Knicks have been one of the biggest disappointments in the NBA this year and it has led to frustration all over the city of New York. They have had their share of injuries and have had to endure a ton of time without Tyson Chandler, but the real struggles have landed on the shoulders of their superstar Carmelo Anthony. Melo is shooting 43 percent from the field and only 29 percent from three. The offense has been stagnant and when Melo gets the ball, it has turned into straight isolation and the ball movement stops.
It got to the point when there were rumors that head coach Mike Woodson might be out of his job, but now the boys seem to be playing better, perhaps playing for Woody’s job security. They won the in-state battle with the Brooklyn Nets and followed that up with a 121-83 win over the Orlando Magic tonight. The Knicks have won two straight and it’s no coincidence that the recent success has come at the same time that Anthony has decided to distribute the basketball.
Melo has put up much more modest numbers the past two games with 19 and 20 points, but he has shot 14-for-22 in the two games and has really played better basketball. There’s no doubting Melo’s ability to score the basketball, but the Knicks are obviously a better team when Melo takes less shots. And that is not a knock on Melo, it is simply because it keeps his teammates get engaged in the game when they know they are going to get some touches.
The Knicks have a big hill to climb, but thankfully the Atlantic Division is weak and if this new Melo is the real Melo, they are still in it.