Dec 18, 2013, 11:45 AM EDT
That question has dominated discussion since the game ended, but perhaps a different question would deal with a more significant issue?
Should Melo have been the Knick shooting?
First of all, better him than anyone else in a vacuum. At that point – timeout or no timeout – New York was unlikely to generate a good shot. No Knick is more capable of creating a good shot in that situation or making a bad one than Melo.
But Melo’s task gets a lot tougher when everyone, including the other team, knows he’s going to shoot.
“We knew Carmelo probably is not going to pass it,” said Martell Webster, who had a team-high 30 points. “The fact that we closed in on him, that’s big. Usually teams will play that 1-on-1. We don’t want to give him a clear look at the basket. Made him take a fallaway off one foot. We’ll live with that. Defensively, we were getting burned but we made the adjustment on the fly.”
Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $85,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Wednesday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $9,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Wednesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
This is why crunch-time offenses are so ineffective.
Teams abandon the tactics – passing, screening – they use earlier in games because they know they lead to better offense. Instead, teams rely on isolation plays from their top scorers.
That doesn’t work when the opponent knows what’s coming. Just look how the Wizards draped themselves over Melo.
Even had he passed the Knicks probably still would have lost, though I think their odds of winning would have been slightly better. Melo is an asset because he draws that much attention, but if he’s going to shoot no matter what, that advantage is greatly reduced.
- Rockets don’t bring the energy, so Bulls bring the pain in securing a 24-point blowout victory 0
- Interesting stat: Teams score better in crunch time when they don’t call timeout 10
- Blake Griffin with as powerful a putback dunk as you’ll see (VIDEO) 11
- PBT Podcast: What is with the slumps of Miami, Indiana? Plus of course Phil Jackson talk. 3
- Extra Pass: Beyond Phil Jackson, Knicks should see Tim Hardaway as instrumental to their future 8