• 02/13/2012, 03:36AM ET

When Melo returns, what happens to the Knicks?

J-Business (78-66-19) vs Darth Maim (76-21-7)

The Knicks are on a 5 game winning streak and most of it is because of the rise of Jeremy Lin.

It's happened without Amare and Melo

So what happens when Carmelo Anthony returns to the Knicks?

Does the offense go thru him (he's the supposed superstar) or do the Knicks filter the offense thru Jeremy Lin?

I say that the Knicks should continue to let the offense go thru Lin and allow their new found PG to dictate the pace of the game.

While Melo is a big time scorer, the Knicks simply have not looked like a good team with him being the focal point of the offense.

W/ Lin being a threat, the Knicks will have a better shot at running the pick and roll thru Lin and Amare as their set offense, rather than Melo

With D'Antoni's offensive schemes, it's essential to have a point guard who can attack the middle and split defenders

I don't expect him to continue averaging 25 pts a game, but if he can do 18pts, 8 assists, the Knicks will be a top team in the East by the end of the season

If Carmelo Anthony can accept a lesser role and play off of Lin and Amare, I think the Knicks can be a rel competitor

If not, it's more of the same

Good to TD with you J-Business...I will argue that Melo, Amare, and Lin playing together has limited/no chance of succeding for the following reasons:

1. The offensive game of the Knicks starts with Melo, he has ranked in the top 5 or 6 in the NBA for shot attempts since his rookie year of 2003-04. Amare has ranked in the top 10 in scoring for 3 of the last 4 years. This duo hasn't met a shot attempt they have ever disliked. Amare + Melo = less opportunity for Lin.

2. The combination of Amare ($16.5 million) and Melo ($17.1 million) are almost 35,000,000 reasons that Lin will be a great teammate but will see his role diminish in a multiplier effect from the superstar duo.

3. Lin has scored 242 points in 532 lifetime minutes in the NBA. Let's see what he can do with the combination of Lin, Mare, and Melo before we start running the whole offense through Lin.

Argument 2: Defensive concerns.....

I understand what you're suggesting

Melo has a big ego and will demand the ball

But if the Knicks want to win
If D'Antoni wants to keep his job
If the folks over at MSG want to keep their stock shares souring

They'll make sure the ball goes thru the hands of the point guard

Throughout the season, the Knicks have been waiting for Baron Davis to return or Douglass to step up
Neither has happened

Carmelo is a great scorer in a set offense with a point guard. This is why he was able to do so well in Denver with Ty Lawson and Andre Miller

The current offensive set up is the Knicks pass the ball to Melo in an isolation set and just stand and watch.

Amare gets his points off of put backs and and half court sets but there's no synergy

Regardless if Lin isn't able to keep up his 20+ average a game
He's young
He's quick
He has court vision
He can work the pick and roll

If the Knicks want to win, they'll the ball thru the pg, he'll pass it down low to Amare who will go for the high % or pass to Melo

I don't expect Lin to lead the team in scoring but the game has to go thru him and he'll be the glue that keeps the team together

I understand what you are suggesting, but the picture of harmony you are proposing would be the "perfect" situation.

My argument is more of a real life snapshot of where the Knicks are today and short term results "When Melo returns, what happens to the Knicks?".

I argue that:

1) It will take at least 10 games to see which direction the team will be heading.

2) Melo needs the ball, Amare wants the ball, and Lin will try to keep these shot-a-minute players happy.

3) A combination of 1 & 2 will hurt the team chemistry.

4) The 2 Superstars will only inflate the defensive point per game as they shoot more/faster and create more fast break points for their opponents which will hurt the team.

So they will not benefit from the bloated salaries/egos of the Superstars.

Argument 3: Final summations.....

I don't think it's mere fantasy to suggest that the Knicks will run their offense thru their point guard.
They've been waiting to do this with Baron Davis all season.
It just happens to be that a young undrafted, twice cut player will be running the show

In fact, this offers a very intriguing opportunity for the Knicks

I'm going to jump the gun and suggest some of the possibilities.

With Lin at the helm, Amare will buy into the system
The pick and roll is built for him and he'll begin to thrive

If Melo doesn't follow suit, he'll immediately become the Knicks most unpopular player and will get booed
If the Lin-Stoudamire combo works and Melo doesn't buy into it, we'll begin to hear trade "rumors" about Melo and they may be real

Many good teams have used similar systems to run great offenses
San Antonio ran the offense thru Parker-Duncan and Ginobili thrived because it's difficult to double a wing on the pick and roll

The Lakers offense was run from Fisher to Shaq but Kobe thrived as a result

So it's very possible that the Knicks may have struck gold

If Melo buys into this, I see the Knicks emerging as serious contenders

Melo quote on Wednesday, February 15th:

"Yeah, if it comes down to the last shot I want the ball. I have been doing this for 9 years and...".

Oh Oh.

Not to rain on Linsanity, but this quote says it all. So when you add it all up.

1) The Melo (shooter) and Amare (shooter) combo is on the floor, it will mean less opportunities for Lin.

2) $35 million in players who are used to having the ball 50-60% of the time in their hands, then how long before the chemistry is affected?

3) The 'Melo Mindset'...if he expects the ball at the end of the game. How long before he starts making comments to the press (Please remember Denver at the end, middle, and beginning).

4) Lin is spectacular, but 7 games does not a season make. Yet.

So, I am standing by my statement, that when Melo returns the team will not continue to improve.

Nice TD, best of luck in the future.....

Comment #1 has been removed
February 13, 2012  06:47 AM ET

I still think Melo will hog the ball a bit. Just not as much with Douglas at PG. I did not watch that much of the Knicks with Douglas, but it seemed like Douglas brought it up and gave it to Melo every time.

I cant wait to see a Lin-Amare pick and roll combo if Lin keeps this play up.

February 13, 2012  09:22 AM ET

Will redeem myself from my pitiful last TD against Frog. Will post later.....

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February 13, 2012  11:24 AM ET

LinSanity is a terrific team player who can distribute the ball easily to Amare or Melo for the open shot.

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February 13, 2012  05:58 PM ET

But, can Melo move without the ball?Doubtful.

He did in Denver. I think making Melo handle the rock actually hurts Melo's game. In my opinion Melo plays better when he does not have to facilitate, that is not his game. He will do better with Lin than without him. Definitely leaning left.......

February 13, 2012  07:29 PM ET

Why does not the Knick's coaching staff get smart and run the ball through the most effective
players and the open players. Forget about Melo, Amare, LinSanity and plain and simply play
team basketball that wins games. If Lin can distribute to both of them so-called, Super Stars",
then so be it. if either Melo or for that matter Amare cannot accept the "Team Basket-Ball_ concept, then look to make trades that bring in "Team Players", ones who want to play and win and drop the "EGO Trips"..Ego Trips do not win championships, team work does.


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February 13, 2012  11:32 PM ET

I love how Knicks fans who went crazy begging for Melo and now don't want him back because they have Lin. People act like this will be disruptive. Melo is the one who begged the coach to let Lin play, he didn't want to be the primary ball handler. Of course Melo will have to shoot a little less, but he is still a huge part of that offense: and one of the best last shot players in the NBA

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February 13, 2012  11:57 PM ET

Living where I do I have had AMPLE opportunity to watch Nuggets games over the last several years.That said, I can tell you this about Carmelo: the guy completely kills offensive flow. The Nuggets used to swing the ball around looking for an open man but every time the ball hit Melo's hands the activity just died.Melo cannot operate without the ball except for when he's getting position on the blocks, usually against a smaller defender.But usually he receives a pass and then dribbles until the shot clock winds down and he is forced to jack up a shot.Melo has plenty of offensive talent, but IMO he's not worth it because of his lack od defense and rebounding and the fact that even on offense he tends to take his teammates out of the game.It's no coincidence that Denver underachieved with him and has excelled without him, just like it's no coincidence that the Knicks have been playing well as of late without him, after struggling mightily early in the season when he was available.IMO Carmelo is completely overrated and just is not capable of leading a team to anywhere good.

I think Melo is a top 10 player and think he gets more hate then love. Is he a great defender, NO. But he's not terrible, Dirk isn't exactly Bill Russell yet he showed you don't have to play both sides to be dominate. Melo isn't as bad at D as people act.

While it may seem like he keeps the ball to much, much of that is due to coaching and pg play. In NY before Lin they didn't have a true pg. The guys they put out their where passing the ball to Melo or Amare right away and rather then letting something develop they where forcing Melo to develop his own shot.

I think with Amare and Lin running the pick and roll and a true pg to set Melo up with open shots the Knicks will be good and possibly be the 3rd best team in the East.

February 14, 2012  04:59 AM ET

He did in Denver. I think making Melo handle the rock actually hurts Melo's game. In my opinion Melo plays better when he does not have to facilitate, that is not his game. He will do better with Lin than without him. Definitely leaning left.......

He played well with "Mr. Big Shot".

February 14, 2012  10:38 AM ET

They get better, next.

February 14, 2012  11:08 AM ET

If Melo can't co-exist with Lin and Amare it's going to be rough here in NY. Amare and Lin are perfect for D'Antoni's system. And Dolan was already on the verge of firing D'Antoni. So it could be lining up with Amare, Lin, and D'Antoni on one side and Melo and Dolan on the other.


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