Star forward Carmelo Anthony has never been the type of player who can take over a game and win it all by himself. He’s one of the best scorers in the game and he’s in the middle of arguably his best season in the NBA. But Anthony isn’t LeBron James. Carmelo is shooting as well as any superstar in the league from behind the arc and he’s getting to the basket when he needs to. He’s even snagging a career-high 7.7 RPG. Carmelo is used to losing big games and if he has any drive to go far into the playoffs, he’s going to have to change his style of play.
The New York Knicks are past one of the worst stretches they’ve had in a very long time. Losing 13 of 15 games isn’t an easy thing to do. It takes a lot of selfish play and lack of pride to play that badly, but the Knicks managed to pull it off. While New York suffered loss after loss, a lot of players gave up and the losses just kept coming. But Carmelo Anthony never quit. He may have showed discontent and discouragement during the losing streak, but he never once stopped playing basketball.
If Anthony wants to make a playoff run this season, he needs to keep shooting the ball well, first of all. Secondly, Anthony needs to create plays for the guys around him. He doesn’t have much to work with, but if just a few times a game he drove to the basket and passed to a wide open shooter behind the three-point line instead of shooting himself, he’d already be making a difference. He’s averaging 2.8 APG and that number can be higher. Carmelo needs to keep shooting while he’s hot, but when he’s missing shots, he needs to distribute the ball consistently.
The Knicks are going for three-straight wins tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are one game ahead of them in the Eastern Conference standings. If they can win, then they’ve got a real streak going. With a weak schedule ahead of them, New York can definitely gain ground in the playoff race. If Carmelo Anthony can put the team on his back and play the way they need him to play, the Knicks can definitely make the playoffs. Getting past the first round will be just about impossible. But if the Knicks can show some fight and end the season in the playoffs, they would have overcome that horrific stretch of losses.
If Carmelo Anthony isn’t ready to adapt to each game and pass when he needs to pass, he might as well pack his bags for Chicago because next year’s team will be the same thing all over again.