Amare and Carmelo Must Learn to Share the Ball by Derrel “Jazz” Johnson

Amar'e, Tyson, and Carmelo Head to South Beach Tonight

Amar’e, Tyson, and Carmelo Head to South Beach Tonight

Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony finally won their first playoff game together, after losing their first seven as New York Knicks. Their win yesterday ended an NBA-record 13-straight playoff losing streak for the franchise, dating back to April 29, 2001. What they need to do urgently if they want to continue to win as teammates is learn how to share the basketball.

The main reason why Stoudemire was so angry, he punched a fire extinguisher after game two was the ball distribution, and his lack of touches. In the three games that he has played in the playoff series against the Miami Heat, he shot the ball 29 times, while Anthony has shot 70 times from the field, and JR Smith has shot 43 times. Carmelo Anthony is the most talented offensive player on the Knicks and should command more shots, but not twice as many as Amar’e Stoudemire. Furthermore, it is laughable that the Knicks offense isn’t able to get Stoudemire more touches, but allows JR Smith to shoot 31-61 (34%) through four games.

In his time as the New York Knicks head coach, Mike D’Antoni was unable to get his two offensive stars to mesh. Interim coach Mike Woodson has had even less time to get the two to gel on offense, but, if this team is going to reach it’s highest level of success, Woodson needs to get his two stars to thrive together, and not separately, on the basketball court.

A capable, veteran point guard would be a cure for the Knicks, as someone with the ability to play the position at a high level would command the respect from both players. A high-quality veteran would learn how to get the ball to each where they are most effective on the court. Baron Davis and Mike Bibby are too far past their prime to be able to do it, and Jeremy Lin hasn’t proven whether he can do it either.

It seems as if many Knicks fans have a short memory when it comes to Stoudemire, and forget how great of a season he had last year. He averaged 25.3 points per game, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks. He also was a legitimate MVP candidate, routinely hearing MVP chants at Madison Square Garden while regularly going over the 40-point mark.
He even heard MVP chants on the road in Washington, DC.

This is a player that has to be a major focus of the offense, not only against the Miami Heat in this series, but going forward. Too much isolation with Carmelo forces the other four players to be stagnant, and allows the team to become predictable and easy to guard.

For Anthony, he needs to learn how to share the ball, and has to improve his shot selection. It is not only his volume of shot attempts, it is the shots he takes as well. On a play earlier this season, Carmelo Anthony pulled up for an open jumper at the
three-point line instead of passing the ball to a wide-open Laundry Fields. Fields, who is rarely demonstrative on the court, was clearly upset and showed it.

I am among the people who are not ready to give up on either Carmelo Anthony or Amar’e Stoudemire. That being said, both will have to work to learn the other, and the team. If they can coexist, then the Knicks will have a serious chance of going deep into the playoffs. If not, one and done will be the norm for the Knicks in the playoffs.

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About RazzandJazzSports

The Razz and Jazz Sports Blog was created by Marc "Razz" Rasbury and Derrel "Jazz" Johnson to create fresh opinions on New York Sports and beyond from two credentialed members of the media.
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