It was the perfect storm. With the New York Knicks falling behind by 89-77. With Tiago Splitter killing inside. Carmelo Anthony was not shooting well. As usual, the Knicks Small Power Forward was not getting respect from the referees, getting pounded without calls being made – for real, about time he gets some respect.
Everyone was waiting for Melo to pout, complain, not get back on defense. Everyone was waiting for Melo to shoot the Knicks out of the gamed, trying to get into a groove. Trying to beat an excellent defensive scheme devised by Gregg Popovich.
What happened was the exact opposite. Anthony put his head down, chased loose balls, fought for rebounds, battled heavier, bigger guys down low, played tough D.
But, mainly, Melo moved the ball. Although he only had three assists, he was superb in making the ball go around.
Time and time again, he found open teammates or got the hockey assist. Only forcing shots when he felt he had room enough.
Anthony fought for loose balls on the floor, chased after loose balls out of bound, hustled for rebounds.
Those are the reasons that made a lot of Knicks fans say that a game where one of NBA’s made only nine points was his best game as a Knick.
Here’s to Carmelo Anthony and the new New York Knicks. Hope they keep up this style of play. It’s a thing of beauty.
Some examples below:
Melo fights Blairs for rebound. Saves possession on offense
Melo notices the double team coming and quickly passes to Jason Kidd who finds Ronnie Brewer wide open for a 3 pointer
Melo goes up for the shot, but sees Chandler, open for the dunk and 1
Kidd steals the ball, finds Melo on the fastbreak. Usually, Melo would pull up for 3. Instead, fakes the shots, gets inside and gets the hockey assist for a JR 3 pointer for the lead
Great D by the Knicks. Melo hustled back to guard Leonard’s would be open 3. Shot clock violation. Melo pumps fist in excitement.
To finish the game, Melo guards Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard at the same time. Forces bad shot by Leonard.