What is Melo’s best attribute?
The answer to this question has to be his scoring ability. Anthony can score the basketball in a number of different ways. He has a phenomenal outside jump shot along with range that extends all the way to the three-point line. He also is excellent at getting to the rim and using his physicality and strength to finish while drawing contact from his opponent.
Anthony has the best chance to utilize these skills when he is catching the ball at the high-post area. From there he becomes a triple-threat since he can just catch and shoot if he’s open, make his move to the basket if he’s being guarded too tight or pass to his teammate if the defenders double-team him.
Over the past season-and-a-half, Melo hasn’t been able to do this since he has been primarily playing a point-forward position. He has been bringing the ball up court himself or running close to half court to receive a pass and start the offense. This makes it so much more difficult for him to score since he doesn’t have the threat of shooting right away and needs to run numerous isolation plays.
The reason Anthony hasn’t been that successful with the Knicks is because Amar’e Stoudemire and him haven’t been on the same page. Both Melo and STAT are accustomed to playing in the high-post area. This has caused a lack of floor spacing, which makes it much easier for teams to defend against the Knicks.
In order to fix this problem and maximize the effectiveness of Carmelo Anthony, Coach Woodson needs to convince Stoudemire to play more in the low post. This will not only give Anthony more space to maneuver, but it will also help Stoudemire get easier shots as well.
It appears that Woodson has already set this plan in motion. Stoudemire’s longtime training advisor Travis King had this to say to Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com about a conversation Woodson had with Stoudemire.
"Mike Woodson himself said he wants the ball to go through Amare in the post more, taking advantage of Amare and Tyson (Chandler), and even Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks' frontcourt has got to be one of the most experienced and best ones in the league. The games are decided inside most of the time."
In order to improve Stoudemire’s low-post skills, Woodson set him up to train with Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon this summer. MSG Network’s Alan Hahn discussed Stoudemire’s training and what he plans on getting out of it.
“Stoudemire will spend two weeks with Hakeem Olajuwon in Houston next month. The cost of learning The Dream Shake? $50,000 a week is what we were told. Now, we don't know of Olajuwon is charging Stoudemire full price, but Amar'e plans to get bang for his buck. He said he plans to memorize every lesson so he can expand his game to include one or two go-to moves on the post.”
If the Knicks stick to this new strategy of spreading the floor, Carmelo Anthony should see drastic improvements in his game. He will become a much more efficient scorer, which will lead to more wins for the Knicks.
Maximizing Carmelo Anthony will maximize the team’s play. It’s that simple.