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Jeremy Lin is confused why you don’t think he can play with ‘Melo

Feb 17, 2012, 8:43 AM EDT

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Carmelo Anthony is about to come back to the Knicks lineup and suddenly the question has somehow become “how can the four-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist fit his game in with Jeremy Lin?”

It’s a fair question in that things are going to have to change from how it was when Anthony was forced into the point-forward role at the start of the season. But this is a good thing.

And Lin isn’t worried at all. He confirmed to WFAN that he got his chance when Anthony told Mike D’Antoni to give him a shot (via Sports Radio Interviews).

“You know, that’s true. I’ve been hearing reports, can Jeremy coexist with Melo and everything like that. I’m just confused because he was the one who vouched for me in the first place. So, we want to play together and want to work together and are buying into that. Some people call Melo selfish and he doesn’t buy into the team. That’s just tough for anyone to hear, especially when we don’t think it’s true.”

(Question about getting more assists)“Yeah, I mean, I think that’s the job of a point guard. I don’t want to come out here and shoot 20 shots a game, but if that’s what the defense gives me, then I those nights that’s what I’m going to have to do.”

Anthony can fit in this offense — he worked off the ball just fine in Denver for all those years. Plus, right now, when the first Lin pick-and-roll doesn’t lead to a bucket for the Knicks they struggle with what to do next and reset. Anthony provides an obvious option — if the defense has to focus on the pick-and-roll Anthony will almost always have a favorable one-on-one matchup he can exploit. Zach Lowe does a great breakdown of this at Sports Illustrated.

This can work. It may be rough at times getting there, but it can work. But the real key is the Knicks have to keep playing good defense as they have been.

  1. 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    It’s not you, it’s him.

  2. drobstad - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    It is scary how good the Knicks will be now that they have a true PG. How do you defense a Stoudemire/Lin pick and roll when you have Melo & JR smith on the outside in one on one matchups and Chandler ready to catch an ally oop? Watching the Knicks is unbelievably fun right now and Jeremy Lin has the best job in America. 8 Straight!

  3. bknowledge - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    I don’t agree with the idea “Anthony will almost always have a favorable one-on-one matchup he can exploit”.
    The article from Zach Lowe doesn’t explain how that happens. Like you, he also just asserts it like it is apriori fact.
    The reason I don’t think its true is Melo will have to be behind the 3 point line when he receives the kick out. The man closing out on him will be told to let Melo shoot the 3/don’t let Melo beat you off the dribble.
    I don’t think Zach is right on a couple other issues:
    Zach seems to assume that Tyson will remain the focal point of the pick and role as a central point of his analysis. I don’t think that’s the case. Amare hasn’t been the focal point these first two games back because he is still getting his legs back- Amare’s shot was blocked like 6 times against Toronto. A week from now, this team would be running 30 pick and rolls with Amare, and 10 with Tyson. Running the pick and roll 30 times a game with Amare will cut Lin’s turnovers,and raise his assist numbers.

    Zach says Lin isn’t good as a spot up option. I think its too soon to know that. It is very important for Lin to practice the 3 from the top of the key, and from the corner. If he can hit those shots at 40% rate he has all the skills of a super start. There’s no reason to doubt his ability to develop those 2 shots. I think Lin is a lot like Deron Williams when Deron first came in the league- incredibly smart, great good vision, great passer, strong enough to get to the rim but not super athletic (he’s not like Derrick Rose, John Wall, Westbrook), and a good jump shot that people believed would translate to the pros, but because the 3 is deeper in the pros, pg’s have to prove they have that shot.

    A line up of:
    would improve the knicks offense in the ways Zach suggests is neccessary. That line up is better than Miami at 3 positions. Its a good rebounding team. There’s every reason to believe they would be a very good offensive team. They will have a go to play pick and role with Amare. A great offensive rebounder (Tyson). Good spot up shooting- Landry and Walker shoot 40% from the 3 point line- they space the floor and they are both hard working long armed wing defenders. It defends excellently (As Zach says, our defense has been excellent during this win stretch, and starting Amare instead of Jeffries will improve our defense if anything).
    Replace Walker with Carmelo:
    Carmelo only shoots 32% from the 3, and he is not known as ‘hard-working” on defense. Its not clear that the exchange makes us better. I think it makes Knicks worse.

    The arguement could be made the Knicks should start:
    JR Smith
    JR as opposed to Walker seems reasonable to me. JR also shoots 40% from the 3, and his dribble drive game is more advanced than Walker’s. Starting JR should improve Knicks offense. Does starting JR weaken our offense versus starting Walker….maybe?

    • LPad - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      Amare hasn’t been the main roll guy in the pick and roll all year, so Lowe’s analysis is right. In fact, even Amare describes his role as a stretch 4. This is because D’Antoni has no idea what to do with Chandler or any center that doesn’t take jump shots. His offense is extremely one dimensonal, small big pick and roll with three point shooters and an occasional dribble handoff at the high post that leads into a pick and roll. It’s essentially Jerry Sloan’s offense with no structured off ball movement, no post ups, no down screens and no cross screens.

    • a185 - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      Billy Walker isn’t shooting well from 3 this year so why in the hell would he should start? Plus you don’t have to space the floor with 3 point shooters. Carmelo Anthony is the Knicks best player, don’t get confused. Do you really think Melo’s man is going to leave him, one of the best, proven for 9 years, scorers in the league to help on Lin’s drives… no. Melo’s man would play him tight which would give Lin more space to drive… if you had a choice you would leave Lin open to cover Melo, so, Lin’s driving lane should be clearer because no smart NBA player is gonna help off Melo. No one had a problem with Melo when he damn near won game 2 against the Celtics by himself. Melo makes clutch shots plus he draws a lot of fouls so does STAT and now Lin so these guys would get teams in foul trouble and should be shooting free throws early in quarters. Lin turns the ball over a lot so he’s not without fault either… Melo played poorly early on because everyone on the floor was looking to him to do too much. He never creates plays, it’s not a SF’s job too, but he can find the open man. Melo can now benefit from backdoor cuts, spin off his man for alleys… you people needed to watch more Nuggets games to see how Melo operated with Billups a better PG or Team USA which had better PGs (Lin ain’t no Deron Williams, J Kidd or CP3) to see how well he plays with good PGs.

    • drobstad - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:35 PM

      Any1 else stop reading this half way through and say to yourself… This kid has no idea what he is talking about? haha
      Melo WILL be in one on ones, the basketball court is not so small that it will require him to be at the 3 point line. If he IS at the 3 point line the defender better close out quickly because he is a deadly shooter. Bottom LIN is that there is no way Lin does not elevate Melo’s play and you don’t add a worldclass player to a lineup like this and just assume they will get worse. Knicks are the second best team in the east right now with Rose hurt and could very well be LIN the mix for a championship run. Stop hating

  4. tomtravis76 - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    This is Carmelo Anthony, you aren’t a better team without Carmelo Anthony. He makes any team better. Carmelo is one of the best players of his NBA generation. Break down numbers all you want, Carmelo is a ball player, he will thrive with a PG who can create offense and big men who can board. This Knicks team once things get clicking in a few weeks will be scary as long as they stay healthy.

    Knicks v Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals would be a great 7 game series for the league and fans of basketball.

    • LPad - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM

      have to agree, some like to say that Nuggets got better because Melo left. But that had more to do with the fact the Knicks gave up so many quality players the Nuggets became two deep at every position, which is almost unheard of in today’s NBA and allows them to push pace and play at max effort while keeping everyone fresh.

  5. bklynfatpants - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    I mostly agree with you, bknowledge, but JR needs to always come off the bench if everyone is healthy.

    Melo’s talent is undeniable, but it is put up or shut up time, and by put up I mean do what he needs to in order to get this team humming even better. The scrutiny on Melo will be intense, and if he doesn’t make it work, Melo will be pegged a ball hog the rest of his career.

  6. randygnyc - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    As long as all the players are on board and lincorporate D’antoni’s offensive schemes, Knicks will continue linning.

  7. chargersallday17 - Feb 17, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Dudeeee im pullin for the knicks to meet the heat in the eastern conference

  8. cmbailey7384 - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    I don’t think this works from an ego standpoint, Carmelo Anthony was used to it being his show featuring Amare and others. Now the Knicks have become the Jeremy Lin show featuring Carmelo, Amare and others. Carmelo has never had to play second fiddle to anyone in his entire basketball career whether it be NBA, NCAA or high school, the teams he played on were his teams. If the Knicks success continues and Jeremy Lin gets all the hype and credit, will Carmelo be able to stand not being the central figure?

  9. bknowledge - Mar 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Anybody that hammered my post and disagreed with me have anything to say now?

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