By February’s All-Star Weekend, all of the Knicks’ ducks were in a row. The team had a winning record, and the offense was rolling behind primary scoring option, Amar’e Stoudemire.
Two months wasn’t ample time for Mike D’Antoni to get the triad of Stoudemire, Anthony and Chauncey Billups to click while sharing the floor. In fact, New York’s offensive efficiency improved either when Stoudemire went to the bench and Anthony played, or when Anthony watched from the sideline and Stoudemire remained in the game.
This lack of cohesion was due in part to the struggle of two of the league’s premier scorers—Stoudemire and Anthony—to learn to concede to one another and embrace unselfishness.
At this juncture in their basketball lives, assuming the role of the “go-to guy” was all they’d ever known. To be successful, compromise between the duo is a necessity.
Whether Stoudemire or Anthony takes the lead offensively next season will typically be contingent upon matchups. But, as the 2011-12 (wishful thinking) campaign progresses, Anthony will evolve into the Knicks’ principal offensive threat.
As he adapts to Anthony’s immense skill set, D’Antoni will discover the ways in which he can tap into Anthony’s ability are virtually limitless.
Let’s examine the scenarios the coach can utilize that suit Anthony best.