The last thing the New York Knicks need to do right now is to depend on Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Cite whatever numbers you want, but the fact of the matter is that these two do not have skill sets that mesh with each other.
Unfortunately, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, new coach Mike Woodson is doing just that.
Woodson, calling Lin “in a learning stage,’’ said yesterday he is turning the focus of his new deliberate offense to his bread and butter: Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, the Knicks’ two stars who combine to make $37 million this season.
Just in case we're all forgetting, Stoudemire's best years came in Phoenix under Mike D'Antoni in that famous "Seven Seconds or Less" offense that was a lot of things, but deliberate was not one of them. They got out and ran, putting consistent pressure on the defense.
Playing deliberate means slowing down into a half-court style, relying a lot more on isolation and screen plays. Nothing about that works well with Stoudemire's game.
Conversely, if you want to push it up tempo, then Anthony becomes virtually useless. He is far and away the best scorer in the league when the action is slowed down to a half-court tempo. Anthony in isolation is terrifying for any defender.
Unfortunately, this is the problem that the Knicks have. They have had it ever since trading for Carmelo last year. The two stars of the team do not mesh well together.
This isn't a personal knock at any of them. They may be fine, upstanding individuals, but their basketball games do not mesh with each other.
If you try to work with one of them, the other one gets left out. In this case, it seems like Woodson is looking to play to Anthony's style.
The problem here is that there is no answer that involves the two players on the same team. Stoudemire will never be a dominant post-up player, Anthony will never be a runner.
So, what can the Knicks expect for the rest of the season? Well, a lot of ego clashes will happen. When you're going to have one star effectively fazed out of the action, he's not going to respond kindly to it.
That is not going to lead to success on the court. At this point, it's hard to see both of these players opening next season in a Knicks uniform. It is pure speculation, but there is no way to make this work. I don't care how great a player is, you can't just expect him to transform styles in one offseason.
Assuming there is a change, which one stays and which one goes will depend on who the coach, but that's not what we're looking at here.
Now, we're looking at the remainder of this season. That is not going to bring a lot in the way of wins and losses for New York. If they are fortunate enough to make the playoffs, it will be as a low seed and either Chicago or Miami will dispose of the Knicks in nothing more than five games. Unfortunately, that's a best-case scenario.