Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks Will Shake Up the Eastern Conference

Canbek AlakayContributor IFebruary 24, 2011

'Melo will take the Knicks over the hump.
'Melo will take the Knicks over the hump.Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Although some Knicks fans have been complaining that too much was given up for Carmelo Anthony, they're wrong; when you have a chance to acquire one of the top-ten players in the league, you can't say no. 

Fact is, Amar'e isn't Jordan, and Jordan himself couldn't do it alone. Without Carmelo, you're looking at a team just barely hovering over .500 with one star player. With Carmelo, you're looking at a team that has potential to break the top three with two star players. 

Head coach Mike D'Antoni summed it up perfectly. We know that we want to win a championship, and the way to do it, you got to get some star players in here. And you can’t say, ‘Well, what if, what if.’ We could be here forever. And what-ifs never happen. But we know we have two of the best players in the league.” 

Anthony could give you 30, 35, or even 40 on any given night. Could the same be said about Gallinari and Chandler? Combined, they average only seven more points than Anthony per game. Seven points that can easily be made up, and then some, by the likes of a Landry Fields or Corey Brewer.

But it's still too late in the season for Anthony to make his full impact. The best the Knicks could hope for is a five seed or, if the Magic falter, a four seed. 

However, when the Knicks regroup next season, they'll have the number 1 seed in their sights. 

Don't believe me? Let's take a look at the last five NBA champions and their lineups with sixth men:

2010 – LA Lakers (Fisher, Kobe, Artest, Gasol, Bynum, Odom)

2009 – LA Lakers (Fisher, Kobe, Ariza, Gasol, Bynum, Odom)

2008 – Boston (Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett, Perkins, Posey)

2007 – San Antonio (Parker, Finley, Bowen, Duncan, Oberto, Ginobili)

2006 – Miami (Williams, Wade, Walker, Haslem, O'Neal, Posey) 

Notice anything? Each team is made up of two bona-fide stars (Kobe/Gasol, Pierce/Garnett, Parker/Duncan, Wade/O'Neal) good to great complimentary starters (Artest/Ariza/Bynum, Rondo/Allen, Bowen/Finley, Williams/Haslem) and a starter-caliber sixth man (Odom, Posey, Ginobili). 

The Knicks are currently made up of two bona-fide stars in 'Melo and Amar'e. They have good to great complimentary starters in Billups and Fields. All they're missing is a starter-caliber sixth man. 

However, the answer isn't Chris Paul or Deron Williams.

You might think I'm crazy, but let's look at that list of NBA champions again and zero in on the point guards: Fisher, Rondo, Parker and Williams. Only Parker played the role of superstar on his team. The rest were simply asked to give it to Kobe, Pierce and Wade. 

The NBA is currently experiencing one of its greatest talent boons in years, especially at the point guard position. Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and John Wall were all taken with high picks in recent years, while the Clippers and Sixers were able to pick up steals with Eric Bledsoe and Jrue Holiday in the mid-to-late first round. 

What I'm trying to say is, the Knicks need to focus on surrounding 'Melo and Amar'e with solid role players, not another superstar like Paul or Williams. 

As it stands now, the Knicks won't win the title this year. In fact, I foresee them struggling in the first round against possible opponents Miami or Chicago because of their lack of big men.

But Knicks fans do have something to cheer about for years to come, not just ten-game hot streaks. If the front office can keep drafting players such as Fields and Douglas, while 'Melo and Amar'e try and convince some solid role players and veterans to join up with them, then the Knicks definitely have a chance.