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Martell Webster: ‘We knew Carmelo probably is not going to pass it’

Dec 18, 2013, 11:45 AM EDT

Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza

Should the Knicks have called timeout before Carmelo Anthony’s final shot attempt against the Wizards on Monday?

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.

Martell Webster, via J. Michael of CSN Washington:

“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.”

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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.

  1. lphboston - Dec 18, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    We went through the same thing here in Boston with Paul Pierce. For whatever reason (most likely ego), Pierce always had the ball at the top of the key in the final seconds. He would drive, spin and get stripped so often it became laughably predictable. Worked a few times when he still was explosive, but the last two seasons it produced very little.

    Maybe iso is the way to go with only a few seconds left, but if there’s time to run your offense, why not make the defense guard 5 players instead of one?

    • cruzan80 - Dec 18, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      This was before the arrival of KG & Allen….

    • logicalcomment - Dec 18, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      soooo true

  2. azarkhan - Dec 18, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Everybody knows Anthony is not going to pass the ball. Coach Karl called him a ball stopper, who basically killed the Nuggets offense. BTW, you can google “carmelo anthony ball stopper”. LOL

  3. zickhead - Dec 18, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Melo is and always will be a ball hog. He basically will lose a game for you in the 4th quarter.

  4. capsfan14 - Dec 18, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Melo didn’t pass? Is this even worth reporting?

  5. bucrightoff - Dec 18, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Yup, end of game situations are pretty much a lock for some kind of isolation play with the teams best scorer. Except for the Spurs pretty much, who run plays still in that situation (see: Danny Green’s wide open game winning 3 against the Lakers last year). Its usually better to try and get the best shot rather than have your best player with the ball in his hands.

  6. zerole00 - Dec 18, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    This is what happens when you play hero ball instead of team ball. On the other end of the spectrum, teams like the Spurs and Heat can burn you with multiple players. Sure, they may have their preferred clutch shooters, but all of them are willing to distribute.

  7. topdawg4ever - Dec 18, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    As long as Melo gets his numbers, he’ll never pass the ball. And the Knicks will suck.

  8. pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 18, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    He’s got that ball hog gene

  9. dinofrank60 - Dec 18, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Then you don’t want shot creators on the court at the end of the game. Let a team run its package with under 20 secs with shooters that won’t feel the need to create a shot. But they may have to shoot with a hand in their face, something not in vogue. There may not be enough time to set picks, run P&Rs and to react to D not seen in the game.

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