New York Knicks: Forget About Chris Paul, Let's Focus on Carmelo Anthony

Will HofmannContributor IIDecember 3, 2011

It seems like, every hour, there is a new rumor about how the New York Knicks can instantly become title contenders. Free agency and blockbuster trades are often referenced as the Knicks' key to the NBA Finals. Any and every situation has been analyzed in which New Orleans' star point guard Chris Paul could make his way to the Big Apple.

Perhaps the key ingredient does not exist outside of the Knicks' organization. Let's consider that New York already has two superstars. Both are perennial All-Stars and are overjoyed to be playing in New York City.

Maybe these two have not had enough time to become a cohesive unit. After all, 'Melo, Amare and the rest of the team have only been together for half of an NBA season. Could it be possible that we have yet to see their basketball together?

The true move to get this team to the next level starts with the coaching staff. Head coach Mike D'Antoni needs to ask more of Carmelo Anthony. He needs Anthony to be a leader, to be a winner. This means playing and practicing with purpose and focus.

I am not going to feed into the typical notion that Melo doesn't play defense. He does. What he needs to do is to play tough, hard-nosed defense every possession.

D'Antoni needs to ask Anthony to consider his shot selection. Anthony could be the most potent scorer in the NBA, so he should still receive the same amount of looks. The change should be that these looks need to be within the offense rather than forced.

If the Knicks want to get to the next level, they will need their stars to step up. Amare put the team on his back most of last season ,and he'll need a similar passionate effort from Carmelo this season to take the team deep into the playoffs.

I want to see Anthony prove something to New York. I would like to see him prove that he came here because he cares about the his hometown and not because he wanted more sponsorship deals.

Anthony has what it takes to make the Knicks a title contender. With a longer season, Knicks fans will hopefully see why gutting the roster was a good investment and Melo can prove his worth to New York

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