Melo, Amare, Tyson, LIN…SUNS 2.0?

Posted on February 16, 2012

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Lin,Amare, Melo and Tyson

We comin...

While the whole SPORTS world has fallen head-over-heals for the all doing, super-genius, barrier breaking and amazing LINardo da Linci.™  There is an ALL-NBA player that is being shelved as an outcast by the media and even by the NY Knick fans.

His name is Carmelo Kiyan Anthony.

Melo is expected to be back in the lineup later this week from a groin injury and everyone wants to know if he can crack the “Da LINci code” and coexist? Did everyone see what I did there??? Huh…huh…good…YOU’RE WELCOME :).

The future

The fans and media saying that Carmelo has to defer to Jeremy, when he comes back befuddles me. We are talking about a guy who has averaged 25 PPG or more six out of the nine years he has been in the league. The individual, who MANY have dubbed as the best scorer in the game with the vast repertoire of moves that are in his arsenal. Arguably the second most clutch player behind the MAMBA. The guy who shot 42% from the three last year (his career best) and is a career 45% shooter overall.  To have offensive firepower such as that on your team should automatically make you a threat against anybody. Also the best part about Mike D’Antoni’s system is that it is designed to harness such talent. Let me elaborate with some history.

2004-2005 Phoenix Suns

2004-2005: The Phoenix Suns turned in to perhaps the greatest modern day offensive team because it gave birth to D’Antoni’s “7 seconds or less” offense and made Steve Nash an MVP, in his first year coming from Dallas. This team was stacked with Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion, Amare, Q-Rich, Jim Jackson, Leandro Barbosa and of course my boy Paul Shirley ;). The Suns averaged 110 PPG and had five players averaging double figures 15PPG or higher with STAT being the leading scorer at 26 PPG and Nash leading the league in assists with 11.5 APG. These guys had a record of 62-20 and lost to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.

NOW

Present Day: The Knickerbockers are averaging 95 PPG on the season but 98 PPG during the 7-0 stretch in which that Harvard PG broke out. Amare has played only three of those games and Melo has just played a quarter of the first game in the stretch. Presently, the Knicks have six players in Melo, STAT, Jeremy, Tyson, Shumpert and Landry averaging double figures with Melo averaging 22 PPG. However, what people are not realizing is the emergence of Steve Novak off the bench, who has averaged 12 PPG during the winning streak and is hitting at 45% clip from the three. Now, I don’t expect Novak to continue averaging double figures but he will have a higher average than a measly 6.7 PPG that he’s currently supporting, as the season goes on. During the win streak, the Knicks as a team have a Field Goal percentage of 45%. I realize that it is a small sample but the 2004-2005 Suns averaged 47% for the year. Also that 45% for the Knicks is actually an increase over the overall percentage during the year, which is at 43%.  Let me reiterate most of this was done without Melo and STAT.  That’s a potential of 40 points per game that the Knicks were missing. We could be seeing a version of the old Suns if everyone can stay healthy.

The biggest knock on Carmelo has been that he’s a “ball-stopper” and does not fit in Mike-D’s offense designed for ball movement and fast pace. I take you back to the 2004-2005 Suns and point out that Joe Johnson was their “ball-stopper.” Joe Johnson’s game, his whole NBA life has been breaking down the player one-on-one and shooting the three at a good percentage. NBA is a game of possessions and the more you are able to generate the higher the rate of shots a team will take. There are PLENTY of balls to go around in NY when Melo comes back for him to play his game and the Knicks still having a fast paced offense because Melo can also shoot the three very well. They were unable to do this earlier in the year and even with Chauncey last year because there was not a facilitator on the Knicks team and when you run the “7 seconds or less” offense without a facilitator, it just looks like a pick up basketball game. Jeremy is averaging 9.8 APG over the last seven games and has run the pick & roll to death with anyone and everyone à la Steve Nash. I see Jeremy fitting in quite nicely with Melo, who by the way played with Allen Iverson and then Chauncey Billups during his time in Denver and helped take them to the Western conference Finals in 2008-2009. Just like Joe Johnson or Nash, were the answers with the shot clock winding down in Phoenix: Melo and Jeremy can be that same for NY. The New York Knicks will be a much faster team and a very efficient team. Amare will settle into a role similar to his Suns days and Tyson will be the Marion type who fills in with garbage points, double digit rebounds and great defense. Landry Fields can fill Q-Rich’s role, even though I think Landry is a better ALL around player. Steve Novak is basically Jim Jackson and Shumpert is the Barbosa.

So there you have it, the reincarnated 2004-2005 Suns with a PG who wasn’t supposed to make it in the league and potentially becoming the most exciting team to watch in the Association.

*Adding* J.R. Smith to the crazy Knicks squad. They will shoot lights out with him. He is instant O and is definitely an upgrade over Iman Shumpert. AND if Baron Davis keeps on distributing the ball like he has been then this Knicks team has a legitimate chance in the East.

mE- Sunny Saini

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