New York Knicks: 7 Reasons Carmelo Anthony Will Make Knicks Work in 2012-13
What those critics fail to realize is that Melo never really had a great, healthy supportive cast. Chauncey Billups and Amar'e Stoudemire were injured in 2011, Jeremy Lin wasn't 100 percent in 2012 and even...well Amar'e was injured again.
This season will be different. Carmelo Anthony has the necessary guys surrounding him to succeed even further. Melo and New York will finally work in 2012-13, and here's why.
He Wants to Play Under Mike Woodson
Carmelo Anthony is really excited for the upcoming season, especially with new head coach Mike Woodson calling the plays.
Carmelo told ESPN's Hannah Storm that he supports Coach Woodson, and he's excited for the season:
I'm a big supporter of what coach Woodson has done. His approach to the game, and what he gets out of all his players, even me. He holds everybody accountable and that's what we need.
With Melo already on board with the change, you can imagine that he will work harder than ever before. Now with LeBron James getting a ring, Anthony remains to be the one big name from that 2003 draft class without one.
His will to play and succeed will push these Knicks further into contention in the 2012-13 season.
He's a Pure Scorer
Carmelo can hurt opposing teams from anywhere on the court.
He's a pure scorer—one of the purest in the NBA.
Whereas before, Anthony relied on his mid-range jumper, now he is not afraid to drive to the hole or even put up a three-point shot—and he's connected on a few of those to lead NY to victory.
Last year, he averaged 22.6 points per game. I'm going to predict that that statistic increases this upcoming season.
In his third season with Denver, Melo upped his point-per-game average by six points—this is Melo's third year in a Knicks' uniform, so we should expect him to kick it into overdrive, especially with the team he's now surrounded by.
Sometimes Melo gets a bad rep for being a "ball hog," but he's suppose to put up shots and have 20-plus points a game. He's New York's superstar, and that's what superstars do. They carry the load of the team on their shoulders. Most of the time they succeed, but there are occasions when they fall short.
Carmelo Anthony will not fall short this season.
Best Front Court in the NBA
Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler form the greatest front court on paper, and it's time that translates to an even greater success on the court.
Coach Woodson preaches defense. Tyson Chandler preaches defense. Carmelo and Amar'e will both practice defense.
Tyson's defensive ways have rubbed off on Melo; Anthony clearly looked like a better player when Woodson held the reigns, as he guarded the league's best scorers and did a solid job preventing them from scoring.
Together, this three-headed monster will wreak havoc in the upcoming season—especially Carmelo and his defense.
Melo Will Play Defense
Carmelo's defense has improved significantly since his arrival in New York.
If you've watched Anthony's defense, he likes to keep his man in front of him as he takes swipes at the ball, evident in the photo used for this slide. All Carmelo has to do is keep opposers in front and force the difficult pass.
With Ronnie Brewer, a much more defensive two-guard on the floor, and Amar'e vowing to come back stronger on defense, Carmelo must commit to becoming more defensive minded—and when that happens, New York will be in contention for a high seed in the Eastern Conference.
We got glimpses of Carmelo's brilliance on defense towards the end of last season. Amar'e Stoudemire was out with an injury, and Coach Woodson emphasized that Anthony had to be defensive on the ball. He did just that and the Knicks went on a surge—notching win after win.
Carmelo Anthony will come into the 2012-13 season prepared to play defense, and that's a huge step in the right direction for the Knickerbockers.
Upgraded Point Guard Means More Scoring Opportunties for Melo
When Carmelo Anthony has a great passer on his team, it makes him a better player. For example, in their last full season together in Denver, the duo played great.
Melo was averaging 28.2 points per game. Chauncey was dishing out 5.6 assists per game.
This offseason, the Knicks have acquired three point guards—all of which have a pass-first mentality.
Raymond Felton has a career average of 6.7 assists per game. During his 54 games with New York in 2010-11, Felton averaged an even nine assists per game. With this kind of dishing out, Carmelo can be sure he'll get many open looks, especially as Felton looks to penetrate a porous defense.
Jason Kidd is second on the all-time assists leader boards with 11,842—that alone should tell you that his time on the court with Carmelo will be something special. Coming off the bench, we can expect to see Kidd keep up with last season's 5.5 assists-per-game average. He certainly makes a player like Carmelo Anthony better.
Pablo Prigioni is the third stringer on this new-look Knicks' team. In his last season of international play, the point guard was averaging just over four assists per game. Although he might not have be spending too much time on the hardwood with Anthony, he's already spoken that he'll be the guy that has his eyes open on all those on the court, which could include Carmelo from time to time.
Olympic Mindstate Will Carry over
When you go into the Olympics to represent your country, players are held to higher standards because they are on a worldwide stage. Melo thrived on this stage, and he looks to make Madison Square Garden a similar place to perform.
Carmelo was the star of the show during the London Olympics.
He shattered the U.S. record for most points scored in an Olympic game with 37 points. Melo averaged 16.3 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game, all in under 18 minutes per game—nearly half the amount of minutes per game he averaged last season.
Anthony will carry this momentum over into the 2012-13 season, and you can bet he will strive to silence the doubters who say he'll never work in New York.
Full Offseason to Workout with Team
February 21, 2011: Carmelo Anthony traded to the New York Knicks.
April 24, 2011: New York Knicks are swept in first round of playoffs by Boston Celtics.
July 1, 2011: NBA lockout begins.
December 8, 2011: NBA lockout ends.
December 25, 2011: New York Knicks first game of the season.
As you can see from my timeline, New York and Carmelo Anthony never had the time to gel and make things right. Now with a full offseason, Carmelo can look to practice and workout with his team to finally develop the chemistry that has been missing since that 2011 season.
There's over two months until the Knicks season opener, so expect Melo to develop cohesiveness with the offense and voice his opinion on how they will become better and become an Eastern powerhouse.
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