StatsCube: Knicks Stuck in Neutral

There’s a buzz at the Garden and a billboard up outside of it, but when it comes to results, the Carmelo Anthony era in New York is off to a slow start.

The Knicks are 6-6 since acquiring Anthony on Feb. 22. They’ve actually gained a game on the fifth-place Hawks in that time, but have lost two games (in the loss column) on the seventh-place Sixers.

Bottom line, the Knicks aren’t necessarily a better team now than they were before the trade. And clearly, defense is the problem.

Knicks’ efficiency, 2010-11

Timeframe Pace Off. Eff. Def. Eff. Diff.
Before trade 98.7 107.6 106.1 +1.5
Since trade 98.2 109.6 109.2 +0.4

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
Off. Eff. = Points scored per 100 possessions
Def. Eff. = Points allowed per 100 possessions

Since the break, the Knicks have the fourth-best offense in the league, but the 24th-best defense. And it’s not like they’ve been playing some offensive juggernauts in that stretch. In fact, eight of their last 12 opponents are in the bottom half of the league offensively. They allowed the Pacers to shoot 54 percent over two games in the last few days, after Indiana shot just 41 percent over their previous six games.

The Knicks lost depth in the trade, but they made it to unite Anthony with Amar’e Stoudemire. Two stars are better than one, after all. But Anthony and Stoudemire aren’t the best fit offensively, and obviously, neither is a good defender.

With two All-Stars on the floor together, the Knicks should have a big advantage over their foes. But thus far, they’ve outscored their opponents by just a single point in 335 minutes with Anthony and Stoudemire on the floor together.

Knicks’ efficiency since trade

On the court MIN Off. Eff. Def. Eff. Diff. +/-
Anthony + Stoudemire 335 110.5 110.9 -0.4 +1
Anthony w/o Stoudemire 98 105.9 107.5 -1.6 +7
Stoudemire w/o Anthony 105 112.1 103.3 +8.8 +22

Note: The first two show up has having a negative difference but a positive plus-minus because possessions are based on a formula (not actual trips down the floor), which estimates that the Knicks had more offensive possessions than defensive possessions with that combo/individual on the floor.

That 110.9 points allowed per 100 possessions with both stars on the floor is pretty atrocious.

The Knicks have 16 more games to build chemistry and improve defensively before the playoffs, but the early returns on the Anthony-Stoudemire tandem aren’t so great.


John Schuhmann is a staff writer for Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.


  1. Defense says:

    I actually like D’Antoni’s offensive system. That run and gun style, 110-120 points a game. But hell you’ve got to get your arse back to defend! They score 110-120 points but they give up the same number of points. How could you win? And they have a better future with Felton, Chandler, Gallinari, Mozgov and those draft picks. They got Melo, Billups, Shelden Williams and Balkman?! In 3 years time, Chauncey gonna be out of this talk. Melo is all that is left. They could have used those picks for their future. And more thing, D’Antoni uses only 8-9 players at maximum! So much for the bench

  2. Ball Boy says:

    One of the worst trades for the Knicks to acquire Melo. He’s one dimensional.
    Look at Denver when they had A.I. & Melo together, how far did they go with two offensive minded players?
    Schuhmann says it all when he states neither Amare or Melo can play D. Knicks are no better off than they were pre trade. I don’t see them going far at all, cause they don’t play D.
    I’m glad Melo didn’t come to Chicago. Boozer might not play D, but he at least hauls in 10-12 boards a game.

  3. Pete says:

    Knicks once knew what it took to win games – this was back in the days of Patrick Ewing, Marcus Camby, Latrell Spreewell, Charles Oakley…the order of the day word was defense, with a little toughness for desert.

    These days the Knicks are team built on finesse and scoring – it can win games, but it doesn’t win a playoff series.

    In the preseason they need to pick up some legitimate defensive guys who will battle and do the dirty work -someone like Gerald Wallace, Marcus Camby, Tony Allen…these guys win you those hustle plays that often make the difference between an L and a W in close games.

    Games against playoff caliblre teams are almost always close games.

  4. Vibhor Dhadda says:

    knicks need chris paul baby.. with him in new york at point guard, melo at small forward, and stat at center or power forward knicks can make a big run.. but they need a good bench… just look at the heat if they had a bench they would be much better then their record shows.. imagine the knicks have a bench like the celtics.. it would be the best thing ever… melo is my homie

  5. Brooklyn says:

    LMAO @ who said Ronny Turiaf’s “biggest weakness is rebounding”. I guess he’s a better shooter than I thought…

  6. Kadar Harris says:

    Excuse me and in the last 12 games before the trade the Knicks went 6-5 so whats you point about them being 6-6.

    your an idiot if you think the Knicks are not a better team now.

    • Pete says:

      They are worse….look at the numbers, they don’t lie.

      The Knicks were a mediocre defensive team. They made a trade which changed them from a mediocre defensive team to attrocious one.

      I understand the concept – if you’re good at something, excelt at that one thing rather then trying to be average everywhere. But problem is there are other teams in the league who rank near at the top of the league offensively but still play SOME defense.

      As a guy who used to be a knicks fan back in the Ewing days, I miss thetimes when the Knicks were actually a really tough and competitive team. Although I don’t really follow Knicks so much anymore,I’d still like to see them bring back to their glory days.

  7. Chris Blake says:

    We never “needed” Melo, we needed a big man that could defend the post, block shots, and mostly REBOUND! If one of our primary scorers is also the man deefending the rim, we’re at a real disadvantage. Once he gets into foul toruble, we are down a major offensive option. In D’antoni’s system where you merely outscore the other opponent, that’s crucial. It’s not like naybody on the team is any big time defender anyway, however the Knicks are still losing both the individual defensive battles, as well as the team defensive battles. My question is… when will D’antoni start scouting players on the defensive side, so another unheralded superstar will not have another career game against us? how many player’s this year have you seen score career highs against the Knicks.

  8. Adam says:

    I also would recommend axing D’coach. JVG would be a good choice as his replacement…but Melo is going to HATE working that hard. It really is a shame that the Knicks traded all of their youth away for Melo…when a new coach was ALL they needed. Look at Denver…really if the Knicks just got themselves a decent center and a new coach in the off season…they’d be as good if not better than Denver is now.

  9. Milano cookie says:

    I’ve changed my opinion. Carmelo will sometimes hinder you and sometimes help you. It takes a while for teammates to learn to play together. Come back to me in 10 games and if the knicks aren’t winning more than they are losing Then I say they’re not going anywhere. By the way I think it would have been better for the knicks if they had not made the trade but hopefully it will still work out.

  10. lesa says:

    knicks go for it this is your moment workhard,,time to bring the championship to madison square garden!!!its time to shine melo and stoudemire,,its knick s time now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

  11. okna says:

    new york must work hard for there defense,,jeffries is no good at all you see he cant shoot a ball,,much better let go of him and find another center who can defend very well and can score too!!!!knicks in the playoffs!!!!

  12. Preacher says:

    Can somebody also lecture D’Antoni regarding proper coaching, playing D, and proper rotation of players! It pains to get these good players like Amare, Anthony, Billups, Douglas, Carter end up in a such kind of Coach. Sorry to say and no offense meant. But NYK management must wake up soon before we miss a lot of PLAYOFF opportunities. As they say, TEAM RISE AND FALL IN LEADERSHIP!

    Go Knicks!

  13. Preacher says:

    Championship teams are not made overnight. I believe with the roster NY has for now it will still be a long way. Coach D’Antoni needs to be replaced, Jeff VG is still the best fit. D’antoni is not defensive minded and does not orchestrate plays very well. ANd does not know how to rotate talents and give players their chance to prove thmselves. Anthony Carter is one example who is a hard working D guy who just sits on the bench, I also wonder why he gave up Gallinari anmd ultimately Brewer. He is ano good for the Knicks.

    They also need a player on the paoint and somebody who will orchestrate the offense. Billups might be the guy but hes a bit old and waning. Give em time and without D’Antoni, they will be champions! GO NY! GO Knicks!

  14. knicks stat says:

    nuggets are better now than they have melo before,,defense is the key to win knicks must be work for their defense,,lets go knicks,,playoffs is coming,,defense

  15. Nate says:

    Melo isn’t anything special. I watched him in Denver since he was drafted and he couldn’t even get his team past the first round of the playoffs until chauncey came. He doesn’t know anything about defense, and the Nuggets seem to be better team without him.

  16. Nuggetnation says:

    So you Knick fans are getting a taste of what it’s like to have a great scorer in Anthony but no D.

    Thanks for Chandler and Felton these guys have instilled a team atmosphere and inspired a tenacious D at the 5280.

    Good luck with Melo and thanks again.

  17. NYK47 says:

    Just wait until the Playoff guys..




  18. knicks fan says:

    cleveland so bad no james no cleveland!!!i love knicks!!defense is the key to win a game,.knicks short for their defense me and all new york knick fans are hoping knicks that can find a real center to help stoudemire to defend the low post!!!

  19. knicks fan says:

    knicks need defense now they must work hard for their defense,,especially on low post stoudemire need another center,turiaf is ok but not that good,.let go off jeffries then find another center who can defense and can shot the ball to,,i love melo and stoudemire together but the knicks defense now is very worst!!!!lets go knicks for the playoffs!!!

  20. JMoon says:

    haha Cleveland gonna sweep series against NY!

  21. knicks fan says:

    im a die hard fan of melo and stoudemire,,,a knicks fan too i think the knicks need more hardwork for there defense,,there defense now is not enough,they need big guy to protect the basket,jared jeffries is no good,knicks need center for their defense,,,i love knicks but the way they play now is not good,,defense is not enough..knicks need center let go of jeffries find another who can defense and can score too!!!!!!!

  22. beasley says:

    the knicks need center,leon powe is free agent last few weeks why knicks didnt get him?im a big fan of melo and stoudemire!!defense is not enough for them they need another center who can protect the basket,jared jeffries is not enough powe is better than jeffries that the truth no hurt feelings,,the knicks defense is worst!!!!!i love amare and melo together!!

  23. DC says:

    i like how you compared this duo with the melo-ai duo…i agree…but defense doesnt take time…the nuggets defense improved instantly…melo doesnt like to play D and thats probably why he wanted new york so bad is cuz he knew that it didnt exist there especially with mike d’antoni sittin on the bench…this team looks like the exact same thing that was in denver with iverson and in pheonix…if theyre gonna change coach they better do it soon cuz look what happened when the suns tried to do it a little while ago…they did terrible and then went back to that run and gun and the only reason the suns runnin and gunnin got them out of the first round is cuz steve nash made it work…i like chauncey, it was hard to see him leave denver but hes no steve nash…this knicks team is going nowhere and theyre just gonna continue to come up short in this “melo era” cuz they still gotta get through the Heat who are a better defensive team and the bulls who have a bright young star with rose and have the best defense in the league…do you really think the knicks are ever gonna get past that? if you do you got another thiing comin. sorry ny

  24. terrence says:

    and i must add i dont think dantoni is the right coach for this team he’s to offensive minded and laid back., they need sombody that thinks all defense and will get in his players face, i still think the knicks will be a contender, ppl under estimate carmelo anthony, iverson and carmelo pretty much was the same player, and iverson wasnt capable of playing defense on bigger gaurds,thats why that didnt work, melo and amare from what i seen on offense work well together better than what melo and A.I did, i think this will all work out in the long run if amare stays healthy

  25. terrence says:

    Its gona take time but thats just like the media to start critizing, besides the initial defense is not the problem its rebounding and 2nd chance points they give up, amare is a terrible 1 on 1 defender but good at help side and carmelo can be a good defender when he’ wants but he takes to many plays off on defense, more importantly they have to get a enforcer down in the paint thats all they need, somebody that can block shots get rebounds and take up space, im not surprised that there not doing great,its hard to win when you dont have a a presents in the paint somthing amare and melo arent capable of, they wont be a REAL contender till a year or 2 down the road, this trade was made for the years down the road not this year so i wouldnt jump to conclusions about the trade this year, they have a championship core already and once they get an enforcer…BINGO

  26. Mel says:

    Knicks wont play no defense, The New York Basketball crowd is very intelligent and basketball savvy, they figured out Carmelo dont play defense in three weeks, It took 12 games for the articles to start about Melo not playing defense, He NEVER played D in Denver, EVER, I watched every nuggets game for 7 years straight, went to alotta games too. He and Karl never got along because Karl is serious about defense and Carmelo is not. This was the problem in denver for many years, I liken the AMARE- MELO hookup to a few years back when Iverson came to town here in Denver, He brought alotta fanfare, alotta hype, alotta sold out seats, but no defense, as a result we got ran out the playoffs.


    4 words—-ball hog—–carmelo anthony

  28. Mike says:

    Defense takes time, it requires more of a team effort and coordination among teammates. Offense is easier to produce. What else would you expect when you beat the trade deadline in order to unite two all-stars? You’re going to get something relatively similar to an all-star team- no defensive cohesion at first but plenty of offensive potential. If the Knicks can figure out their defense by the end of the season, they might give someone problems in the first round. But I’d give them a better shot against the Heat than the Celtics or Bulls. The Celts and Bulls are way too deep and defensively oriented. But the Knicks might get out of the first round if they’re playing the Heat. Either way, both these teams look like they’ll be fun to watch next year and the year after….but there’s not much to see this year.
    Of course, it’s always possible that there’s something fundamentally wrong with the Knicks organization that has nothing to do with the players they put on the floor. I believe that’s how they initially got to a place where they had the highest payroll in the league and some of the worst results, so they dismantled that group of players, cleared cap room, whiffed on Lebron, and started over with this duo….
    I honestly don’t think this is going anywhere spectacular. The Amar’e ‘Melo combo can work out only slightly better than the ‘Melo Iverson combo did in Denver, and it might not even be that good. The Knicks are back to being a playoff team, and they might even wind up in the top half of the playoff picture in the next few years, but I don’t see them making it to or through the conference championship round with this group of guys. They need to make some really good acquisitions in the off-season and at least two or three more significant trades (not for all-stars, but for guys that complete the championship picture) in order for that to happen.

  29. Ted A. says:

    The Knicks need a new coach. If you watch D’antoni he is a streetball coach that relies on his teams athletic ability down the stretch as oppose to drawing up plays that can be executed. I say bring back Jeff Van Gundy and I am willing to bet he will have a better team with the same players. Its not about talent now it boils down to coaching and there will be change in coaching next season if the Knicks are smart.

  30. Max Wohlman says:

    I am a die hard die hard Knicks fan and I believe Melo and Amar’e work well together on the offensive end, we have the second most offensive fire power in the league behind Miami and the chemistry will arrive as time goes on. There are glimpses of a true title contender on some nights and on other nights i see glimpses of an unseeded eastern conference team. The defense is a problem some nights they’re amazing on D swarming hands, not letting people in front, drawing charges, grabbing boards but other nights its the worst D of any team in the NBA. We have to be consistent with our defense, and Mike D’antoni really has to focus more on his defense he has to put it into their minds that their offense will NEVER win a championship there is not one team in the history of the NBA who has ever won an NBA Finals solely on their offense. Hire a defensive coach maybe,maybe fire D’antoni, maybe just stress defense like we should have been doing since day 1. But somethings gotta happen Knicks or this team with so much potential is going to play right into the ground.

    • cw says:

      i think the knicks are going to be fine for the future, y these people talk like we ( the knicks fans) are saying we winning the championship this yr. i just think people just hate new york they haters like charles barkely . plus all we need is defense i think dtoni gotta be fired or atleast hire someone to teach defense .

  31. Joey says:

    The knicks propaganda machine can’t hide the truth for long. This team is doomed for mediocrity and will be completely cap-strung once the new CBA sets in. Knicks are already the most overrated team in league history

  32. Randolph says:

    I believe the Knicks will start playing better as they play more games, and even though Jared Jeffries was brought in for defensive, I still feel they’re a better defensive team when Ronny Turiaf is in the lineup… he plays hard on defense, and is always cutting towards the basket for a score, his biggest weakness is rebounding (for his size, not height).

  33. Nisha-Let's Talk says:

    After all the mumbo jumbo about how the Knicks NEEDED Melo, they sure don’t show it.. Seems they are only good when they are in Madison Square Garden.. That’s a problem.. When it comes to the playoffsa they AREN’T gonna have home-court advantage.. The Nuggets are better WITHOUT ‘Melo… The Knicks need to figure something out and QUICK because if they got BANGED UP BY THE PACERS, they are gonna get DESTROYED by any other team in the East.. Sorry, but that is just the way it is..

    • Joshua says:

      We never said we NEEDED Melo
      get your facts straight before you rag on knicks fans
      We didn’t get BANGED UP by the Pacers, we lost on a game winning shot
      Not to mention the Pacers themselves are a playoff team; I don’t know why you talk like their some scrub team
      I’m sorry, but you’ve obviously only watched like 2 knicks games your entire life to say taht we’ll get destroyed by the other eastern conference teams
      Most of our games go down to the wire, so you might want to do a little research before you try to call out the most knowledgeable fans in the game…

      Another thing, we don’t need to figure out anything QUICK. We made this trade for the future; we’re not pushing title contentions anytime this year; we just reached the playoffs after a decade and we’re not dumb enough to think we’re gonna win it all with a random lineup

      You talk about when it comes to the playoffs; who’s going to be the main scorer for Denver? Yeah ofcourse I’m so happy for them their doing so well for themselves with a couple of my favorite players; but to think that they’ll get far in the playoffs is insane. Who’s going to be the man they give the ball to in pressure situations? The man that will score when his team needs it the most?
      They don’t have the most dynamic scorer in the NBA anymore.

      • olam says:

        Knicks fans will be waiting a VERY long time (forever) for that championship whether present or future sorry 😦 and if they stay in that sixth spot the WILL play the Heat and they WILL LOSE!!!! oh by the way good luck with that wonderful defensive your Knicks play.

    • Elliot A says:

      11 or 12 games does not make a season! The Knicks made this trade for the future. When they depleated the team they knew what they were doing. They will have SUBSTANTIAL CAP SPACE to fill the voids of their team in 2012. This summer they will use player exception dollars to fill in (if allowed once the new CBA is in place). There will be money to spend regardless or every team that is over the salary cap will have to cut players and eat their salaries. Look at the Lakers, Magic, Dallas ect…all of them are paying luxury tax The NBA will look completely different if there is a new hard cap.The Lakers will have to cut Kobe if they want to have a team and that’s not happening. I would expect the new CBA to be simillar to what is in place now with few exceptions.

  34. Bawls says:

    Knicks need to play better d and Marvin need 2 learn how 2 spell.

  35. Marvin says:

    The Knicks had 2 bad losses 2 da weak Pacers and that really blew me. I’m a die-hard Knicks fan but i’m not trippin’ at all. It’s gonna take time and IT WILL WORK OUT if y’all don’t believe so. But they need 2 play better defense.