Blogtable: Falling Stars In New York

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe 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.

Big Apple busts | First off your bench | Blazers-Pacers

Carmelo Anthony vs. Deron Williams in 2010

Happier times: Western Conference playoffs, 2010, Denver vs. Utah (Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE)

Which Big Apple star has fallen furthest: Carmelo Anthony (Knicks) or Deron Williams (Nets)? Who’s most likely to get back up first?

Deron Williams, Nov. 2013

Deron Williams, Nov. 2013 (Rocky Widner/NBAE)

Steve Aschburner, Williams. To me, Anthony is one of the true constants of the NBA, a shooter/scorer who, since he arrived, has been treated – and sees himself – a notch above his true star standing in the league’s galaxy. Last possession, close game, he’s at or near the top of a very short list in whose hands I’d want the basketball for my team. But day in, day out, he’s not a tent pole guy in the way LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant is. Never was, probably never will be because it’s generally about Melo first, team second. But Williams actually has underperformed his reputation the last couple of years. His assists have dipped, he’s hurt lately, there are a couple of fallen coaches on his resume and no one defends anymore the selection order of top point guards (cough, Chris Paul) in the 2005 Draft. That said, I’d happily welcome back the 2007-10 version of Williams.

Fran Blinebury, Carmelo’s scoring average is down 2 1/2 points, his shooting percentage .26 from last season, slightly down. And he has no help. Williams has fallen off the edge of the Earth and he’s supposed to be leader of the Nets. D-Will is just lucky he’s not living back in Mother Russia with oligarch owner Mikhail Prokorov or he might have already been shipped out to a work camp in Siberia. Carmelo is still an A-lister who can score with the best in the game. Williams looks like a guy who has lost interest. I’m with Carmelo to recover first all the way here.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.comDeron Williams is so low at the moment he makes the New York subway look like Chicago’s ‘L.’ His fragile ankles make Steph Curry‘s look like a couple of boulders. Williams has played in just nine games (avg. 24.1 mpg) as the Nets’ most critical player has been a total non-factor. As for ‘Melo, I cringed when he proclaimed his intention to head into free agency when he should have been prodding his teammates to climb aboard his shoulders for the championship ride of their lives. His shooting has been erratic, but he’s still scoring (26.3 ppg) while also averaging a tick under 10 boards a game and getting to the free-throw line (Houston loss game excluded), which tells me he’s engaged. So let Melo get Tyson Chandler back and maybe things settle down. D-Will? I don’t know how he gets it going if he can’t get on the floor.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comBiggest fall: Deron Williams, and it’s not close. This is the pretty much the same Carmelo Anthony as always, so he’s the first to get back to the former level. But D-Will is on a fast down escalator. The Nets offense. His health. His uninspiring play. Williams has a lot of ground to make up.

Carmelo Anthony, Nov. 2013

Carmelo Anthony, Nov. 2013
(Michael Bernstein/NBAE )

John Schuhmann, Williams is injured, so it’s two different situations (like Big Apples and Oranges). At some point, Anthony will find some sort of offensive rhythm and start shooting better. And that could happen at any time. Williams’ return to form seems more long-term, because he re-sprained his ankle in the first game when he tried to return a couple of weeks ago, and it will take him time to get back into shape and have the acceleration and explosion he needs to be a top-flight point guard.

Sekou Smith, This is a completely unfair question to Carmelo, whose game has not fallen off. In fact, he’s averaging a career-best 9.9 rebounds and playing a gut-busting 40 minutes every night on a team that is performing miserably. But he’s doing what he’s always done in terms of scoring the ball and giving the effort he’s always given. Deron Williams, on the other hand, has not been in elite point guard form for quite some time. Even last season, when his numbers were fine, he wasn’t really in the conversation of the best of the best at his position. He’s been passed up by the likes of Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving and others since we used to argue about who was the better point guard between he and CP3. Knocked off that path in his final days in Utah, D-Will has battled one thing or another since moving on to New Jersey and now, Brooklyn. The fact that the point guard crop in the league has gotten deeper and even more dynamic and talented in the past three or four seasons, I’m not sure he’ll ever legitimately get back into that top tier conversation.

Lang Whitaker, All Ball blog: New York is such a fickle town — they love you or they hate you. There is zero middle ground. And while Melo has been the target of plenty of ire the last few months, it’s almost like, at least they’re thinking about him. Deron, on the other hand, hasn’t been held to anywhere near the same level of scrutiny as Melo. I don’t know if that’s a comment on the franchises or the players, but that’s the way it is. It’s going to be a long road back for Williams to be the player he was before, a longer journey than Melo has in front of him, but Deron’s able to work off-Broadway, which lessens the spotlight a bit.

Adriano Albuquerque, NBA Brasil: Kind of unfair to say D-Will has fallen off, he’s injured. I suspect he gets back to his former level as soon as he gets 100% healthy. ‘Melo, on the other hand, may be victim of a poor fit with the pieces around him. Without Tyson Chandler, the Knicks’ D is a mess, and their offense has been stagnant and lacking in creativity. Carmelo has turned the ball over often and shot poorly, but the team around him has made it difficult for him as well. I think he can get better once Chandler is back and Mike Woodson can get back to finding his ideal rotation.

Davide Chinellato, NBA Italia: ‘Melo is having the worst shooting year of his career, but he’s still second in the league in points per game and posting up big numbers in rebounds. So I go with Deron Williams here. He’s had too many injuries, and he’s not even close to the player he was last year … who wasn’t very close to the D-Will he was with Utah. I bet on ‘Melo as the first to get back of his normal level: His shooting woes will end when the Knicks, as a team, get back on track.


  1. aaa says:

    Melo atleast plays hard for the knicks, knicks will turn this around, watched all of their games this year, and I just hope they can start playing some decent basketball, because they have been a torture to watch, but ofcourse I still support them, cant say the same for the people @MSG who boos them out every game.

  2. Luc says:

    New York seems to be all about the $$$.
    To build a great team, doesn’t just mean throw ridiculous amounts of cash to overrated players.
    Take a ticket from south beach’s management. Players took substantial pay cuts to get the ultimate goal.
    Bring back the hunger NY!
    Invest in better staff to attract younger players with drive.

  3. Bobby Touchstone says:


  4. FanOfTheGame says:

    Carmelo is a great player but he does not fit on the Knicks. He was a better fit in Denver. If he wants to win a championship he will have to learn how to play defense or join a team that over powers opponents with sheer offense.
    The Knicks should never have gotten him and they should trade him before free agency.
    Deron is a completely different story. By the time he left the Jazz there were some signs of him not being serious about the game. True, he’s injured right now, but who knows where his head is at. The Nets need a point guard and a coach. Jason Kidd was a good player, probably could still be playing (helping the Knicks) but he needs coaching experience. He needs to come up through the ranks.
    Mike Woodson …..he’s better for the Knicks than D’Antoni but Woodson never did much with the Hawks and he can’t do anything with this team either.
    Not sure what U mean about Patrick Ewing – remember they were in game 7 against the Rockets but John Starks shot 2 for 18 and the Knicks lost by a few points.
    Barkley, if I remember went to the finals with the Suns but lost to the Bulls and Jordan in 6 games

  5. Baller says:

    Melo hasnt fallen off at all but DWill on the other hand…he needs to find himself fast. And Melo is not a cancer to his team, he is a scorer. Thats his job. To score. Derrick Rose is not a traditional pg nor is Westbrook and they play the same game as Melo. Scoring. Rose’s and Westbrook’s game is just more focused on driving. Yet nobody calls them a cancer, while they supposed to be point guards. Thats bull, Melo is fine. All the Knicks need is better chemistry and a good, young, facilitator (trade maybe?)

  6. Tony Delavora says:

    REAL TALK: Melo is a loser. His self inflicted problems will keep him away from a title unless he actually pulls a big three type move next year, which he WILL try to do. Make no mistake about it. You never announce you will test free agency, “just for the experience”, and then state you do not want to leave your current team. He is a terrific scorer but bottom line, he has that Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkely about him that makes him great on the floor but bad for the team. He just won’t win a title. Melo is about Melo and I predict he goes to Houston or a city with a smaller town and bigger pockets.

    D-Will is and has been injured. Not playing like himself has me concerned. Even when he is healthy, he is playing off and seems a bit unmotivated. It is still early in the year so we need more time to see what can happen. The comment about the camp…I don’t agree with it but it was not horrible…lighten up guys. Worse comments are made on the NFL and in Hockey but you rarely hear about that. Why??? Hmmmmmm…nobody cares. lol.

    • hating on Ewing says:

      You make some interesting points about Melo’s free agency moves. heh why you hatin on Ewing though? He might have had a ring if he had played with more talent and not during the Jordan era.

  7. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    I’d like to throw this idea out again. If Melo is a FA this upcoming summer, it is my opinion that OKC is the best fit for him. No other team fits Carmelo any better. Having the 2 best NBA scorers on one team would make the Thunder overwhelmingly dominant. And of course, Westbrook can light you up for 30+ points on any given night.

    Thunder are young, healthy, energetic, and fun to watch. The chemistry would be perfect. Definitely way better than the Knick team that he is struggling with now.

  8. lol says:

    Fran is right, D.will belongs in the prison camps of Siberia where oligarch Prokhorov has his secret base, hes getting paid all that money and all he does is giving cancer to his team and their fans…same for melo.

  9. aron says:

    Coach-Killer Williams got this. That’s right. He plays like he just don’t care anymore.

  10. PalmOil Preference says:

    D-Will no doubt about it. At the end of the day people still say that Melo might just be one of the greatest scorers of all time. While on the other hand they just say D-Will is good when healthy. Even though Melo plays a more selfish non facilitating kind of style at least he is available.

  11. dustydreamnz says:

    D-Will has been injured but was poor even the minutes he did play, Melo has been good again this year-most players would love to be averaging 26ppg/9rg but he has very little support. Hardaway Jr gonna be getting more minutes.

  12. Boston Fan says:

    “D-Will is just lucky he’s not living back in Mother Russia with oligarch owner Mikhail Prokorov or he might have already been shipped out to a work camp in Siberia.”- Fran Blinebury

  13. spursfan says:

    this team is going down, down, down…melo to lakers would make a best move.

  14. NetsTape says:

    As for D-Will vs Carmelo…..D Will has a far worse contract than Joe Johnson

  15. vt says:

    As a Russian I think this Fran Blinebury person should apologize for the stupid work camp joke.

    • 36yrfan says:

      ….so there weren’t ‘work camps’……is this revisionist history ??

    • 36yrfan says:

      does history hurt your feelings ???

      • Chris says:

        To some people it does. Try bringing up the Holocaust around someone who is Jewish. Bring up the Civil War to some southerners. History hurts people’s feelings at times and can be offensive. Open your eyes.

      • mortished says:

        yeah and we all know usa have nothing like guantanamo or death penalty or patriot act or nsa or manning or snowden … fran was just joking but hey you’re from america man watch your own land before joking on that matter

  16. jake s. says:

    Melo and Howard will always be good, but always be cancer to any team.

  17. You guys are Really Reaching says:

    How is Fran Racist? Are you guys dumb? lol….Have you ever heard of Siberia? Prison Camps etc…. The Nets Owner is Russian. I dont find that Racist in anyway. Personally, I think you guys are just young and the joke flew right over your heads.

  18. eastbrook russell says:

    wow fran, if players are fined 50k for saying what they say, he should probably be sent to Stern prison if there is any bit of righteousness left in the league..

  19. holiwx says:

    When you have lots of money and like prima donna’s what do you expect???

  20. Edjumacator says:

    Blinebury’s Russian comment was nonsensical but not racist. They do have a Black Ice Race in Siberia though. NYC is a black hole for players, teams, and the sport of basketball, but I don’t want to punch anybody’s face.

  21. lol says:

    face the truth fanboys, when melo or D.will is the best player on ur team u know u got no chance to be a contender, they never were anywhere close to lebron or Kobe category, Durant? please… he proved nothing yet.. but yeah melo and D.will r nothing special, even if melo can score he is such a bad defender and a one dimensional player he is nowhere near the elite level of players who compete for rings.

  22. Sprackles says:

    Racist and inexcusable comment by Fran Blinebury

    • Tom says:

      Agree, what a pointless article, i bet the writer never player ball . The ‘Work camp in Siberia’ quote is inappropriate . Melo has leaded Knicks to East semis and got the scoring tittle last year, Season just started and you already put them in a never close to lebron,kobe,durant category . Bottom line, i would like to punch the writer in the face

      • 36yrfan says:

        …learn your history…the team is owned by a “mega-rich’ businessman? from Russia….Nothing racist about it at all……it was a joke….WOW !! alot a thin skin around….

      • 36yrfan says:

        …(.”Melo” has leaded )…..really ?? ……so you are a nyc fan of basketball….. I feel for you…….one would think with all the high profile this and that in the “big apple’ that Great players would flock there …..not so……………… Both NBA teams there just throw good money after bad…. year after year….they won’t EVER admit that they need to Rebuild……just keep adding re-treads and wasting money…… it is at once funny And painful to watch….

    • DP says:

      I thought it was the best part :3

    • Drago says:

      I second that
      Both Melo and Wiliams are dud superstars as I like to call them.No team will ever win a ring with those guys.

    • go lakers says:

      O please so sick of people pulling the race card. Typically it’s the other way around.

    • kekekekekek says:

      haha your right, that was pretty racist:p