With the NBA season coming to a close and with the playoffs not too far out of sight, a few unfortunate teams are already gearing up for the offseason. The New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics have found themselves as two of these “unlucky” teams in a chaotic Eastern conference.
For the Knicks, expectations were at an all time high entering their 2013-14 campaign. However, having succumbed to numerous injuries and struggling to find team chemistry, the Knicks very quickly found themselves out of the playoff hunt, faltering as bottom-feeders struggling to reach a winning percentage of .500. Due to their poor performance and lackluster play, the blame can easily be place on head coach Mike Woodson; but inevitably, the person who will attract all the blame is franchise player Carmelo Anthony.
The disgruntled Anthony has made it known that he is unhappy in New York, at least for this season anyway. Though the team has experienced their share of misfortunes as a whole, Anthony has been having one of his better seasons to date and statistically a better season than last year when he won the scoring title.
Carmelo is currently averaging 28.1 PPG, 8.4 RPG and 3.0 APG while shooting .455 from the field. Last season, he averaged 28.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG and 2.6 APG while shooting .449 from the field. Whether this be a coincidence or not, the Knicks seem to be doing better when Melo isn’t dropping 62 points or averaging 31.5 points, as in the month of February.
In fact, New York seems to do better when they are playing as a team. Something they are unfortunately not used to doing.
Here is where the Celtics step in, and where possibilities can happen. Like New York, Boston has experienced their own misfortunes this season. They currently sport a much undesirable record of 20-41. Unlike New York though, expectations were at an all-time low for Beantown’s finest. Since parting ways with captain Paul Pierce and the “Big Ticket” Kevin Garnett, the Celtics seemed destined to go through a much-needed rebuilding project — a project that doesn’t seem to have the essential tools to construct a championship caliber team.
Though the Celtics would like to think so, many critics feel that Rajon Rondo is not a franchise player, and certainly doesn’t fit the bill as captain. Rondo has already been called out for “intentionally” missing the teams west coast trip to Sacramento so he could attend his birthday party in Los Angeles. Is this something that a captain would do? To give Rondo the benefit of the doubt, he has not played a double header the entire season due to his inability and nagging knee injury.
But a true captain (like Pierce) shows up to all games, whether on the floor, or on the pine. So you may ask, what does Rondo have to do with Anthony and the possibilities of the two playing together? Though some may disagree, it’s Rondo who seems to be the main attraction in this move.
If you haven’t heard, the Knicks have been giving their best attempts at trying to acquire the 29-year-old point guard all year long. With packages including Amar’e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton, it just didn’t seem to be enough as the Celtics were looking for multiple first-round picks in return.
Many are under the impression that Anthony wouldn’t mind playing with Rondo, so what if Melo decided to opt out of his contract with the Knicks and sign with the Celtics, becoming the key element to speeding up their rebuilding project?
Though it may seem like a fantasy just too far out of reach, don’t count it out. Remember, no one expected Danny Ainge to pull the strings on Garnett and Ray Allen coming to Boston. So why not Melo?