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Through all the drama, ‘Melo keeps eye on playoff spot

Apr 3, 2012, 10:12 AM EDT

New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony comes down after stuffing ball against Toronto Raptors in NBA game in New York Reuters

Just another day in New York with the Knicks. Jeremy Lin had surgery and was tweeting photos from the hospital. Baron Davis was trying to stay healthy enough to carry the load left to him as the point guard. Meanwhile reports surfaced suggesting the Knicks may have held off on announcing that Lin needed surgery for their own selfish marketing reasons. The team denied that claim suggesting the New York Daily News publisher is pushing a negative Knicks agenda to pressure Knicks owner Cablevision to merge the paper it owns (Newsday) with the Daily News.

Since when did a New York paper need motivation to go negative on the Knicks?

In an ironic twist, all that craziness left Carmelo Anthony as the guy trying to be the calm eye at the center of the storm. He said he is keeping his head down and focusing on the playoffs. Here is what he told the New York Post.

“I believe we’ll make the playoffs,’’ Anthony said yesterday before the Knicks traveled to face the Pacers tonight. “We want to utilize the next 13 games and days we have off to get everybody right. The guys who are healthy have to stay healthy. The guys not healthy, got to get healthy.’’

The Knicks are two games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks for the final playoff spot in the East. New York has been hot lately — 9-2 in their last 11 — and ‘Melo sounds like a happy guy now that new coach Mike Woodson is running the offense through him (and with Lin and Amare Stoudemire out injured ‘Melo gets all the touches he wants).

“Coach Woodson always wanted me to go down there in the post, get to the goal by driving and staying close to the basket,’’ Anthony said. “So the system he’s put in, not really a system but the offense he’s put in, is to get more post-ups to get closer to the basket and from there start inside out.’’

This is Anthony’s team now — so long as they keep winning and hold on to that last playoff spot there will be plenty of love for Anthony. But if things turn on the court, you can bet the soap opera that has focused on other story lines will come back to ‘Melo with a vengeance.

  1. dysraw1 - Apr 3, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    heres the thing you post guy tend to put the pressure on Melo but its a team game and everybody has to leave it all on floor not just melo, When J Lin got in the lineup the stars aligned and everything fell into place. we need the same positive energy to get us through these last 13 games.not some idiot declaring that if we dont get in its Melo’s fault

    • losangelasbasketball - Apr 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      it’s Dantoni’s fault for not adjusting his system… and it’s upper management’s fault for not forseeing dantoni’s innability to adjust his system…. earlier…

    • loungefly74 - Apr 3, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      “with great power comes…great responsibilty” hehe. okay, in all seriousness…the article is just stating that it’s melo’s team. he will get the lion’s share of success or failure. of course everybody else has to contribute, that’s a given…but ultimately, as a team leader…melo will dictate what course they take.

  2. pbanach01 - Apr 3, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    What is going to come back to Melo with vengeance? The ignorant fans and media who need to point fingers when the team loses? Give me a break. The Melo you have seen the past 10 games is the same guy everyone has been watching for about nine years now. It amazes me how little knowledge people have. Nine years vs. around 30 games or so where he was battling injuries and a schwatty system that asks him to stand around the 3 point line and everyone’s ‘perception’ about him has changed. Let’s get real here if the Knicks don’t make the playoffs (I think they will) it won’t be because Melo didn’t play well enough or hard enough or whatever you want to spin it as. It will be because they are banged up and don’t have the firepower to do so (36 and L to Hawks). Either way Melo is doing his thing again in the post where he belongs and it is great to see. Real knowledgeable NY fans stand up!

  3. leearmon - Apr 3, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Despite the poor play early in the season, Carmelo is having a strong year. He’s just doing it completely different than we expect. The rhetoric revolving Carmelo is that he’s a “ball stopper” who can’t play defense. Yet this season, at least on the defensive side, it has been completely untrue.

    Per Synergy Sports, on D Melo is the best post-up defender in the entire league. Im not playing. He gives up 0.39 PPP on post ups. Opposing players shoot 3/20 vs him on the block. Melo ranks outside the top 50 in regards to isos. I know you don’t believe me so just subscribe and find out for yourself. Even more, Synergy has him as the 70th out of the 400+ players in the league! For comparison Lebron allows 0.095 points per possession in the post

    Im not sure this comment will post, but I would honestly love some article or response as to why Melo’s D still goes ignored. It would be one thing if people never mentioned his defense,(Tony Allen) but soooo many “experts” including this site, don’t just ignore his play, you/they go out of there way to say he’s an awful to bad defensive player. How can any self respecting journalist do that? Again, I beg for a response to this. Or at least some type of admission that Melo is a better defender than most believe he is.

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