Carmelo Anthony, in his eighth year in the National Basketball Association(NBA), a 4-time All-Star, an NCAA champion and Final Four Most Outstanding Player award winner, is now a member of the New York Knicks, and many Knicks fans everywhere rejoice. But some fans aren’t as happy. Why?
There are some out there that don’t think the 2011 version of the M&M boys, ‘Mare and ‘Melo, will mesh offensively. There are some out there that feel that the Knicks did not need offensive help, and didn’t need a talented scorer like Anthony. There are some out there that are even comparing this 15-player, three-team deal to the 18-player Herschel Walker two-team deal. I find all three laughable, and here’s why.
The thought that Anthony, arguably the most talented offensive player in the NBA, won’t be able to co-exist with Amar’e Stoudemire tickles me. Anthony was able to not only co-exist, but experienced regular season success with former NBA Most Valuable Player, four-time NBA scoring champion and 10-time NBA All-Star Allen Iverson, notoriously know as one of the most ball-dominant NBA players of the last 15 years, as they won 50 games their only full season together. Anthony has never played with a big man as talented as Stoudemire, but it will not be an issue, and though Anthony isn’t a typical pick-and-roll player like a LeBron James, I would think that Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni would implement one with his two stars in the offense, if not this season, then in the preseason of the 2011-2012 season.
The Knicks score 106.2 points-per game, second in the league so scoring isn’t a problem, why Carmelo, some fans have asked? Scoring during the first three quarters for the Knicks, for the most part, hasn’t been a problem, but fourth-quarter scoring, or lack there of, has caused the Knicks to lose three close games in the last month, to the Philadelphia 76ers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and San Antonio Spurs. Teams who double-team Stoudemire now face the fate of possibly putting the ball in the hands of Anthony, who scores 24.8 per game for his career, or Chauncey Billups, a former NBA Finals MVP and five-time All-Star, nicknamed “Mr. Big Shot,” much riskier than Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov, or any other Knick traded in this deal.
Some out there feel the Knicks gave up too much, reportedly six players, in this deal, and have absurdly compared the deal to the Herschel Walker deal. First, the Walker deal exchanged one player and four draft picks for five players and eight draft picks, so to compare this deal to a 5-13 swap is ridiculous. The Knicks are reportedly receiving two All Stars in Anthony and Billups in addition to Corey Brewer, Sheldon Williams, Renaldo Balkman, and Anthony Carter. Obtaining Billups and teaming him with Anthony with Stoudemire makes the Knicks a dangerous playoff team, with two players that can singlehandedly win a game on any given night, but also makes the Knicks an even more attractive place to play for potential free agents, including point guards Chris Paul and Deron Williams, who have both reportedly expressed interest in playing for the Knicks.
Rejoice Knicks fans, as the New York Knicks now have two perennial all-stars in the starting lineup. With these two alone, the Knicks should be a 50-win team yearly, and at least a team that reaches the second round of the NBA playoffs yearly. With some additional transactions and clutch play, the Knicks may be raising a banner in Madison Square Garden in the near future.
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