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Knicks put it together against Nuggets… and then go back to Melo-ball

Jan 22, 2012, 12:11 AM EDT

Denver Nuggets v New York Knicks

It makes sense, on one level.

You play good team ball for 45 minutes. You create open looks, you drive to the rim, you produce opportunities to get you into a tight game. And then, when it comes down to clutch time, you let your star scorer score. That makes a lot of sense and was the approach the Knicks went with in their loss to the Nuggets. For the first half, the Knicks were winning. There were two players with a negative plus/minus. Jared Jeffries, who actually played well, and Carmelo Anthony, who did not. In the second half, the Knicks constantly fell behind and battled back. When the game got close, they went to Caremlo Anthony, ISO. None of the ball movement that got them there. Just trust. And it worked.

Until it didn’t.

And in the end, the Knicks fell to a Denver team featuring several of their former members sent for Anthony, and without Arron Afflalo and Rudy Fernandez, 119-114 in double overtime.

It has to especially sting Knicks fans that the wing they traded as a centerpiece in the trade, Danilo Gallinari, went for 37 points on 19 shots, while Anthony had 25 points on 30 shots.

That pretty much sums it up.

Not surprisingly, when Anthony was out of the game, the Knicks were energized. Bill Walker was hitting from deep, Amar’ Stoudemire was active on defense and the glass, Iman Shumpert was producing, along with Landry Fields for the first time really this season. There was this thing called ball movement, a long lost relic of offense that has fallen to the wayside with Anthony’s emergence in New York.

It’s not Anthony’s fault this is how it ended up. He had 10 rebounds and five assists. It’s that the Knicks don’t have any way with their current roster to work effectively and efficiently with Anthony in. Anthony doesn’t steal the ball from his teammates, he’s given it and they defer. They stop working for movement. They defer. And in that situation, Anthony goes to pull-up jumper after pull-up jumper.

The Knicks needed only look across at their opponents to see the opposite. The Nuggets share the ball, create off the cut, and even on a night when a deep team was short-handed, and when Ty Lawson was off and Al Harrington playing below his level this season… they still pulled out the win. Don’t be mistaken, the Nuggets were a desperation 9-1-1 heave from Andre Miller from losing. But they pulled it out and as the game wore on, they shared the ball and created. The Knicks? Anthony does what he does. He can hit contested shots. He does hit contested shots. But you can’t rely on contested shots consistently. Eventually, you’ll miss, and that’s when a more balanced team wins out. That’s what happened Saturday night.

And the Melo era in New York continues its rocky road.

  1. knicks4life - Jan 22, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Knicks should trade melo to the nets for deron Williams

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 22, 2012 at 3:41 AM

      That’s actually a damn good idea. Deron wants to play for NYK, Anthony gets to stay in NY so he and his wife are happy, Nets get a star player to build around that just can’t shake in a year, D’Antoni FINALLY gets a PG tailor made for his offense, Amar’e gets to be option 1 again (I really don’t think he likes playing with Anthony, IMO). It’s a win/ win all across the boards. I say do it! ‘Melo may not be too thrilled at first, but eventually some big name will sign up to team with him.

      • bossmangunny - Jan 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM

        sorry i dont wanna give up a scorer.Be patient,end of the year who knows,maybe stat and melo restructure their contracts to allow Deron to be a Knick.Or maybe i should shut up

      • Kurt Helin - Jan 22, 2012 at 12:30 PM

        NBA players are not allowed to restructure their contracts (as is seen in the NFL). The CBA prohibits it.

  2. 303bengalguy - Jan 22, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Nuggets were definitely a desperation heave from Miller away from losing but we also got screwed on a couple bogus calls, namely the phantom touch when Melo flopped and tossed that ball out of bounds. Anyway, it was a sweet victory and if not for the unlikely stepping up by Walker and Shumpert and Douglas, the Knicks had NOTHING!!! They were atrocious, especially Carmelo. And that puts a smile on my face. Walking away with the W was sweet but watching their anguish first hand for once, that was nearly priceless.

  3. bossmangunny - Jan 22, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    All of the excuses in the world..3 All-stars,a couple decent rookies and a boatload of losses..please fire Dantoni

  4. goforthanddie - Jan 22, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Mr. Vasquez is the most over-rated player in the league. I’m wondering how long it’ll be before Amare asks for a trade.

  5. djflav303 - Jan 22, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Thanks for the trade NY, u can keep lala

  6. 00maltliquor - Jan 22, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    Can’t spell ‘Melo without the ME…….or an L!

  7. iplaybad - Jan 22, 2012 at 5:56 AM

    The Nuggets front office leveraged Melo’s desire to go play for the NYK perfectly. Pieces the NYK once had shredded them last night! Masgov. Check. Harrington. Check. Gallo. Big check. Enjoy this, Knicks fans. You are seeing Melo’s true colors. He’d rather score 30 and lose than 15 and win.

  8. damp1015 - Jan 22, 2012 at 6:19 AM

    NYK all day! Win or Lose! but you guys always want to talk crap about MELO just like LBJ. Players are going to have days and teams are going to have days. The Knicks are struggling, so are other teams that should not be.

    Be realistic, I know the Knicks need a real PG, they need to create shots for STAT too. It will change in time.

    • goforthanddie - Jan 22, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      Putting Anthony and leb in the same sentence is like putting leb and “champion” in the same sentence.

  9. svupper - Jan 22, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    You should be realistic, with a real PG or not, the problem is still the coach, as long as you guys have Mike D, you will keep losing.. Knicks basicly got a good team with a lot of upside, they just need someone who can actually coach them.. Like giving Shumpert the green light and letting a rookie stay in the game, when he’s shooting 5 of 20 against Memphis..

    Just give Mike D the kick and try Woodson as an interrim coach, that would make a lot more sense
    and give Knicks fans something eles then an L..

  10. bossmangunny - Jan 22, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    NJ has had a decent point guard for a long time,then they build around I’m sure melo isn’t option #1.Don’t trade Melo,change the coach.Dantoni can only win with a younger Steve Nash and Stat in the West.

  11. denvernuggz - Jan 22, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Melo will not change n Melo will nit win EVER… Seen it for years in Denver the guy just will never get it…

  12. tomtravis76 - Jan 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Trade Amare

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