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Carmelo sees himself as a wing, highlights Knicks challenge

Aug 24, 2012, 1:40 PM EST

New Jersey Nets v New York Knicks Getty Images

The challenge is pretty clear in New York — when both Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire have played in a game the past two seasons, the Knicks are 31-40. The two stars have not meshed.

Which brings us to ‘Melo speaking with Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com Friday and talking about the Knicks and his Olympic experience. In London he played a lot of four, would we see that in Madison Square Garden this year?

‘I’m a wingman & everyone knows that. But it’s an extra incentive (to play the 4)… It gives us more weapons.”

Anthony was dangerous at the four in the Olympics as part of the USA’s small-ball lineup because he could step out and hit the three, he can put the ball on the floor to create a shot, and he is dangerous in the post. The versatility of his game makes him a tough matchup at the four spot.

But that’s not where he plays when Stoudemire is on the court. Then ‘Melo is a wing and that’s where he played with the Knicks last year — 35.4 percent of his shot attempts came in isolation sets (via MySynergySports). He did post up for 13 percent of his shots (and shot 43 percent, which was better than his 37 percent in isolation) but like he said, he’s a wingman. Everyone knows that. Right?

The Knicks need to use ‘Melo more at the four, they need to take advantage of that versatility. They also need to have Stoudemire at the four and running some pick-and-rolls with Raymond Felton. Stoudemire is very effective as the roll-man (he shot 60 percent in that spot last year and got 13 percent of his shots that way). The Knicks need to run more Felton/Stoudemire action, what was at one point Mike D’Antoni’s bread and butter play.

But Mike Woodson had the offense running through his wingman ‘Melo. You can’t run a high pick and roll if Anthony is pounding the ball on the wing. They could go small with ‘Melo at the five and Amare at the four, but that would be a D’Antoni thing to do. Plus, then you’re not using one of the two best defensive centers in the game in Tyson Chandler (and the Knicks need his defense in the paint).

If the Knicks can get Anthony and Stoudemire to play together they can move on to that second tier in the East (they still are not hanging with the Heat). But I need to see it first, because the evidence so far says the Knicks two stars don’t mix.

  1. eventhorizon04 - Aug 24, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Not a Knicks fan, but the Knicks want to be a very good defensive team this year, and they can be.

    Between Tyson Chandler, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and Marcus Camby, a past DPOY who is still effective, they have 2 very good defensive centers, so I think it’ll be rare to see the Knicks with Amar’e at the Center unless he really does step up his defensive game.

    And that’s the problem with trying to make Carmelo a Power Forward. I agree he’s effective at the 4, given his post-game, strength, and ability to rebound. However, Amar’e has to be on the court as much as possible (he’s getting paid way too much to be a backup Power Forward), so to get Melo, Amar’e, and Chandler (their 3 best players) on the court at the same time, Melo has to play as a small forward.

    It’s not just a matter of Melo’s “attitude” – the Knicks roster prevents him from playing the 4 too much.

    • saint1997 - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:55 PM

      Hang on, did a non Knicks fan just talk rationally and not make fun of Knicks? What site am I on? I’m impressed

  2. dysraw1 - Aug 24, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    it will be different this year because Ray is going to find STAT a lot its important that we get him jumping early its important that he come in allstar form hes faster than most 4s and 5s also he has be clean up man as well as Tyson. Melo should make it a point to find him more to in order to create better chemistry between them ,though we didn’t get the players i wanted [ Klye Lowry Nick Young] i am happy with Ray & Ronnie i believe booth guys will be big contributors to this seasons effort

  3. clevelandschronic2 - Aug 24, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    I highly doubt the knicks will ever make it to the finals let alone the ecf. They are at best a 6-7 seed. Melo is not gonna stand around allowing felton to feed stat game after game. Melo has shown over and over tht he cares abt his own stats more than his teams win-loss record. Melo needs to Actually play defense and learn to b a better playmaker for his teammates. Then maybe they can do better than 6-7th seed

    • saint1997 - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:54 PM

      oh do you know Melo? Have you been talking to him about this? No? Then how the hell do you think you can judge his priorities on a basketball court man? With that roster Knicks are a 4 seed. You my friend are delusional and know very little about basketball.

    • thomaskouns - Aug 25, 2012 at 4:14 AM

      Smart analysis Clevelandschronic2.

      You basically summarized every scouting report on Melo out there.

    • go2themike - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      The facts don’t support your comments. Melo has proven that he can play within a team system and doesn’t have to worry about getting his numbers within any system. Melo proved once again this summer he could play the wing if he has a point guard or point forward to run the offense. The Knicks had neither last year!

  4. nokoolaidcowboy - Aug 25, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Funny, I see you being the same selfish bastard you have ALWAYS been Carmelo.

    • go2themike - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:59 AM

      It’s funny that you have something to say when you know nothing about Melo or basketball!

  5. davidcl77 - Aug 26, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    How about seeing himself being unselfish for a change and trying to play defense. I think where he plays is up to his coach. Another year making the playoffs, losing the first or second series, then going home. No doubt.

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