Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
Carmelo says it might be his fault the Knicks are so terrible. Agree? Explain.
Steve Aschburner: Yes. And no. Anthony is partly to blame for the Knicks’ struggles and, as the club’s top-paid player, he owns a little more of the responsibility than his teammates, coaches or front office. He’s shooting horribly and in my view rarely has helped his teams much defensively or within an overall concept. But there’s plenty of blame to spread around here. (Funny day to ask this queston, BTW, with ‘Melo as the only player on his team not to score a field goal – when’s the last time that happened? – in the 33-point blowout of Charlotte Tuesday. He played nearly 30 minutes, scored one point on 0-of-7 from the floor but grabbed 11 boards and was plus-13.)
Fran Blinebury: It’s only “Carmelo’s fault” in that he, like Amar’e, isn’t playing up to his potential on a team that isn’t good or deep enough. It’s actually Jim Dolan’s fault for giving up too many complementary pieces in the trade to get Carmelo instead of waiting to sign him as a free agent. He should have listened to Donnie Walsh.
Scott Howard-Cooper: Unless Carmelo made the trade – as opposed to forcing the trade – and gave Amar’e Stoudemire the keys to the bank vault, it’s not Melo’s fault. He is part of the problem, for sure, because this is not the offensive weapon the Knicks envisioned. But this is about a lot more than Carmelo Anthony.
Shaun Powell: Yes, it is Carmelo’s fault. But not for the reasons he thinks. It’s his fault that he didn’t discourage the Knicks from gutting the team to get him last February. It’s his fault he didn’t just play out his contract in Denver and then sign in the off-season with the Knicks, allowing them to keep Danilo Gallinari and Ray Felton and Wilson Chandler, guys who would’ve been a big help right now. But Melo was too concerned with the lockout and new labor agreement and therefore chose money over a decent team. So he must deal with the consequences.
John Schuhmann: He’s shooting 40 percent, so he’s obviously a part of the problem. But the Knicks’ offensive issues start with the lack of a point guard. Melo should be finishing plays, not starting them, and Amar’e Stoudemire needs a real point guard to run the pick-and-roll with and to get him the ball near the basket. Scoring depth (which they lost in the Melo trade and by waiving Chauncey Billups) is also an issue. And having watched them closely before the trade last season, I prefer seeing Stoudemire at the five (and surrounded by shooters), instead of with a traditional center.
Sekou Smith: As classy as Carmelo Anthony is trying to be by shouldering the blame for the Knicks’ struggles, he’s is 100 percent wrong on this account. It’s too easy to throw him under the bus for what ails the Knicks. What should be appreciated is the job the Nuggets did in surrounding Anthony with the perfect supporting cast all those years. And it took that team time to come together and play at a high level. He’s had less than a full season to turn the Knicks into what, championship contenders? No one in their right mind expected the Knicks to become that sort of team without the right pieces around Anthony. It’s someone else’s job to make sure the pieces fit in New York, not Melo’s.