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Will NY Knicks Get Good Carmelo or Bad Carmelo vs. Pacers?

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Will NY Knicks Get Good Carmelo or Bad Carmelo vs. Pacers?
USA TODAY Sports
Carmelo Anthony is no match for Roy Hibbert (or David West) on the inside.

If the New York Knicks are going to beat the Indiana Pacers, they'll need Good Carmelo Anthony. Where is he? He sat out Game 1.

Actually, Good Carmelo's been missing since Game 3 against the Boston Celtics, replaced by Bad Carmelo. The Knicks are 1-3 over that stretch.

No wonder. Anthony has gone from shooting percentages of 45, 45 and 48 in the first three games of the playoffs to 29, 33, 30 and 36 in the last four.

It was ugly and it was rough. And that's just Carmelo Anthony's jump shot we're talking about. The Knicks, coming off Friday's elimination win against the Celtics, never looked sharp against Indiana. Anthony shot 10-for-28. He's now shooting 35-for-110 over his last four games. (via Frank Isola, NY Daily News).

That's 36 percent against the Pacers and 32 percent if you include the last three games against the Celtics. Both are well below Anthony's season average of 45 percent.

It's worse from behind the arc. Against the Pacers, Anthony hit one of four three-pointers (25 percent). During the season, Anthony was a dependable 38 percent from long distance, but in the last four games Bad Carmelo is 2-of-22—an abominable nine percent.

Have no fear Knicks' fans, Good Carmelo is due.

He always comes back, but then again, so does Bad Carmelo. Such is the schizophrenic nature of Anthony's game.

It's only a matter of time before one Carmelo takes over for a while, only to be substituted once again by the other in short order.

Which Carmelo will the Knicks get the rest of the way against Indiana? Brace yourself. It's going to be both, of course.

But unless Anthony ups his accuracy and the Knicks get a little more physical, Bad Carmelo will be seeing more time in the Pacers series.

Good Carmelo will emerge if Anthony takes fewer shots, for one thing. Melo had 35 attempts in the J.R. Smith-less Game 4 loss against the Celtics. That's his season-high.

He took another 28 shots in the Game 1 loss against the Pacers.

How do the Knicks get Good Carmelo back in the game?

Playing to Anthony's shot-selection strengths will help. Take a look at the differences in Melo's range between the regular season and the postseason:

Overall, Anthony is shooting more poorly in the postseason, specifically close to the basket (< 5 ft.) and far away (25-29 ft.).

His current far-ranger is so bad (1-for-15 / 6.7 percent), that shot must be shut down until further notice.

What's going on inside, though? Melo has fallen from over 50 percent to 37.2. Looks like Doc Rivers and Frank Vogel have taken away Anthony's best shot.

This all brings up the question posed by Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears, "Should [Anthony] spend most of his minutes at small forward?," as opposed to his usually-mismatched stints at the No. 4.

Against David West, Roy Hibbert and the Pacers, yes.

"West purposely stayed near the basket on offense and kept a body on Anthony on defense to initiate contact and bait Anthony into fouling. Anthony also had to contend with the Pacers' 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert when he did get some room from West."

Anthony played the fewest minutes yet this postseason in Game 1. He was in foul trouble from banging around with the big boys.

Just when you were hoping Amar'e Stoudemire was done for the season, the Knicks may need him now more than ever. Against Indiana, a big (in size and scoring) offensive inside presence (not Tyson Chandler or Kenyon Martin) will free up Anthony's inside game again.

Let STAT pick up those fouls, too, keeping Good Carmelo in the game.

Bad Carmelo denying there are physical and size issues against the Pacers.

Whether Stoudemire returns or not—and many fans don't even want him to—the Knicks need to move away from small lineups this series.

Martin, who is playing fewer minutes in the postseason, needs to see more time. Chandler, too, isn't maxed out, but there are still questions surrounding his neck injury. This is not the time for either of these shortfalls.

Woodson should even throw in Marcus Camby at the very least to pick up Anthony's fouls. Camby has seen just three minutes the whole postseason. He's old and a bit hobbled, but he has to do better than that.

That covers Bad Carmelo and Good Carmelo. But there's a third Carmelo-one Knicks fans haven't seen in a while—Finisher Carmelo.

When is the last time Anthony sunk a game-winner or took over a game? Not in the 2013 Playoffs. Would be nice if he showed up. Then Melo can be good and bad in the same game and no one will care.

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