City Sports Report

Thus Far, The Carmelo Anthony Deal Hasn’t Lived Up to Expectations by Derrel “Jazz” Johnson

Carmelo Anthony Doing What He Does Best

Carmelo Anthony Doing What He Does Best

The trade for four-time all star Carmelo Anthony by the New York Knicks was supposed to solidify the foundation of a championship team in the near future.  It was also supposed to create a dangerous first-round adversary in the 2010-2011 NBA Playoffs. Thus far, however, the Knicks have shown the ability to play flat, uninspired basketball against bottom dwellers of the NBA like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons.

After Wednesday’s 111-99 loss to the Orlando Magic, their fourth in a row, and seventh in eight games, Carmelo Anthony said “We need to relax.  We are putting to much pressure on ourselves.  We are losing games we should be winning.  We need to relax and have fun.  Losing games, that is the toughest part.  Losing games we should be winning.”

That pressure has come from the Knicks win against the Miami Heat, 91-86 Sunday, February 27, 2011, in their third game of the Carmelo Anthony Era, an era that brought together “The Big Three on Broadway”, Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Chauncey Billups.  Since that victory, the team is 5-9, with two losses apiece to the 13-57 Cleveland Cavaliers and the 32-40 Indiana Pacers, as well as a loss to the 25-46 Detroit Pistons and the 28-42 Milwaukee Bucks, who they face tonight.

The Knicks have given up a staggering 110.8 points per game in their 10 losses since the trade, over the 105.6 they allow on the season, good for 27th in the NBA.  In wins since the big transaction, however, the Knicks allow only 96.7 points, nine points below their season average. 

Therefore, the key to the Knicks being more competitive is quite simple.  More effort on the defensive end.  Teams that play good, or better, defense, like the Boston Celtics, who lead the league in fewest points allowed, with 90.9, or Chicago, who are second with 91.1, have the ability to win games in which they shoot below average.  Chicago, for example, is 16th in the league in team field goal percentage, at .460, but have the second-best record in the National Basketball Association at 51-29.

In theory, the answer is simple.  Play harder on defense.  However, defense is about trust.  It’s about five players on the floor communicating, working together and giving maximum effort to stop the opponent.  With athletes as talented as those in the NBA, desire plays a large roll.  The Knicks need the will to play better defense, and not just against the league’s elite.  Until then, the deal will not live up to it’s expectations.


  1. Al M

    March 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Here’s the remedy. Let Dolan’s billions bring back Phil Jackson to NY. Phil is a star’s coach. He will instill defense.

  2. razzandjazzsports

    March 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    You don’t think Phil is over the coaching hill?

    • Al M

      March 25, 2011 at 7:52 pm

      He could. But $$$$ helps rejuvenate. And he works miracles with Stars. And it might pull in Dwight Howard.

  3. Priest Forever

    March 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I dont think that’s fair to state it as if the problem is Melo. The consistent problem before and after the trade has been Mike Dantoni. I dont know why everyone is suprised about the Knicks not playing D, the Suns didn’t play D either. This is Mike Dantoni again. He was the person who passed on… Ok I cant remember but I know the Knicks passed on a better player to get Danilo, who is not even a Knick anymore. Again this is Dantoni’s call.

    Truth be told, the only thing the Knicks need is a big man. they have all the pieces they need to be competitive. Coaching is the problem. Once they fix that problem they will make some noise in the east.

  4. razzandjazzsports

    March 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Didn’t say that Carmelo is the problem, though he isn’t as good as many people thought. I said originally, he’s not top 5, top 10, but either top 15 or top 20. Offensively he is arguably the best scorer. They have made poor moves in the draft, including not drafting Jennings. They need a big man, and if Billups isn’t healthy, a point guard too.

  5. Priest Forever

    March 26, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Will agree with you on everything you just said. I dont think Melo is top 5 but he has consistently improved each year and is a play that need a solid team around him. He has to start playing some defense too.

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