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Jim Boeheim says Knicks problem is not Carmelo, it’s everyone else

May 21, 2013, 1:15 PM EDT


A good coach always has his players’ backs in public. Even if he hasn’t coached them in a decade.

Enter legendary Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who like a lot of people in the great state of New York was watching Carmelo Antony lead the Knicks to eventual second round playoff elimination this year. You’ll remember that Anthony helped Boeheim win a national championship at Syracuse many years ago.

So when Boeheim was asked to talk about what happened to the Knicks, he strayed from the consensus opinion — they need better ball movement and less isolation basketball — and said the problem was everyone but ‘Melo.

Here is Boeheim’s answer to if Anthony can win a ring from an interview at (via Eye on Basketball):

“Not on that team,” Boeheim said. “He did what he can do. He played very well the final game. Everybody’s killing him but Tyson Chandler just didn’t try to catch the ball. He threw him the ball and Tyson Chandler went like this (Boeheim dodged in a chair in his office in the Carmelo K. Anthony Center). He was wide open. He should have been looking for the ball right here. Kenyon Martin should have been looking for the ball. They both went like this (Boeheim dodged again). Carmelo gets turnovers and the announcers aren’t smart enough to even think, ‘Well, the guy should try to catch the ball….’

“I said to my son, ‘He’s going to have to get 50 for them to win,’ ” Boeheim said. “That’s what he needed. Fifty. You’re not going to get that against Indiana. They run an isolation offense so he goes one-on-one all the time. It’s hard. It’s hard work. They need more of an offense where he can get something going. He has to work too hard. That’s not his fault. That’s how it’s set up.”

So you’re saying that Tyson Chandler, one of the better pick-and-roll finishing bigs in the game who shot 63.8 percent last year was dodging the ball? That Steve Novak and Chris Copeland weren’t waiting for passes out at the arc? Okay.

If you watched the Knicks during their 13 game win streak late in the season, or even their fast start to the season back in November, they moved the ball very well — the offense started with Carmelo or Raymond Felton, but the ball moved to the open shooter. The three point shots fell because the ball moved and guys got open looks.

Indiana (and Boston before them in the first round) takes away your first option out of your set. You aren’t going to get to do exactly what you want. Probably not going to get to do your second option cleanly, either. When faced with that Carmelo and J.R. Smith (and really the Knicks team) reverted to isolation basketball that was easier for the Pacers to defend.

And while it’s not all his fault, a chunk of that falls on Anthony. Sorry Boeheim. He is not spotless in all this.

  1. money2long - May 21, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    this is something melo can’t say himself or he would catch heat.

    • erckle31 - May 21, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      Yeah, he’ll never catch the Heat.

      • money2long - May 22, 2013 at 7:39 AM

        u mean he’ll never team up with dwyane wade to win a championship ?

  2. Nostrils10 - May 21, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    agree 100%…

  3. 4thquartermagic - May 21, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Caption for image above:

    “Don’t worry about being 2-20, you’ll start making shots eventually.”

  4. footballgod87 - May 21, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Say what you want, Tyson stunk in this series and it’s not all about points. His rebounding and d were also suspect. And Novak barely played in the Indy series Kurt. I know it’s easy to rag on melo but his second best player was Jr smith. And he’s just 1 step up from mo Williams as far as mediocre sidekicks.

  5. mr9teen - May 21, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    What Boeheim says was partly correct. It was the same problem Jordan had when he went to DC. People want to complain that Carmelo Iso’s the ball too much. THATS WHAT HE DOES! However his post guys have to knock down/take shots when available to get Hibbert unrooted from the paint. Also his shooter werent making shots with the consistency that they should have when they got the ball. It’s a team sport and the TEAM didn’t come to play plus some untimely poor shooting and injuries impacted the Knicks chances to advance. Tyson has got to learn a new offensive move. A hook or a 8 foot jumper. Something. Even Noah is more offensively inclined right now. Tyson was not himself due to injury and neither was Melo.

  6. moseskkim - May 21, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    when your second best scorer shoots 25% all series, youre not gonna win much. when u have a player whos scared to shoot (kidd), ur not gonna win much. chandler was banged up too. a lot of problems, but you have to give credit to indianas defense. they showed ALL of NY’s flaws that we saw at times throughout the season and credit indianas coaching staff.

  7. skinsfanwill - May 21, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    You also have to have a coach that is willing to create a game plan and put your team in the best position to score. That includes giving more playing time to people that can score (Copeland, Novak), and leaving the hot hand in the game (Shumpert). Coaching wins games more than players do. see San Antonio. He makes those players look better because he puts them in a place to score. All they have to do is make the shot.

  8. stephenolszewski - May 21, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    I think he’s stating the obvious there…

  9. steelerdynasty2010 - May 21, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Wow, his former college coach is defending him? The one who won him a national championship? Color me shocked

  10. mazblast - May 21, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Exactly why should we care what Mr. Whine says about something in the pro game?

  11. leearmon - May 21, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    “That Steve Novak and Chris Copeland weren’t waiting for passes outside of the arc? Okay”

    Ummm.. did you watch the series. If you did here’s a question, how many minutes did Steve Novak play vs Indiana? Or how many minutes did Chris Copeland play prior to Game 5 (where the Knicks were 1 game away from elimination)?

    So this quote really makes you sound ignorant. No disrespect. Carmelo is not without faults for the play of this team in the postseason. However if you ACTUALLY watched the Knicks this season, Melo would take defenses apart who guarded him 1-on-1. The “ball movement” stemmed from teams doubling Melo, who would then kick the ball out, and get “hockey assists” from the team swinging out to open three point shooters i.e. Novak, Cope, Shump, Prigioni and J.R.

    We went over the first two players, Woody for whatever didn’t deem it important to play Shump and Prig more minutes than Kidd and J.R. and as for J.R. there reports that he developed something of a bad habit in the postseason.

    But the main gripe is with Tyson Chandler. yes his pick and roll offense was superb this REGULAR SEASON, but if you actually watch the play Boeheim is talking about its clear, Tyson ran right pass the ball. He didnt look for the pass at all. Respected Journalist like Alan Hahn and Chris Herring agree.

  12. allen227 - May 21, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    Typical Boeheim.

  13. bux1022 - May 21, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    “Everyone hates Kurt” thought that would make for a great sitcom! Or is it just me! The Knicks are done and your still babbling. I think I’ll take the coaches word over a half-witted sports writer! Next article. I know you won’t post this but your readers would give the thumbs up!!

    • Kurt Helin - May 26, 2013 at 10:00 PM

      You hate me so much you click on then comment on my articles. Thanks.

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