New York Knicks: All About ‘Melo Now

It is time for Carmelo Anthony to make his mark on this city

Carmelo Anthony has had his moments since joining the New York Knicks last season. Unfortunately, they have been overshadowed by an alleged dispute with former head coach Mike D’Antoni and a winning streak that he wasn’t apart of. Yet, now Anthony is part of the Knicks winning 7 of their last 8, moving back to .500 and getting within striking distance of first place in the Atlantic Division…and now, more than ever, Anthony must assert himself as this team’s franchise player.

Amare Stoudemire is likely out until the playoffs begin, if he is lucky and the Knicks happen to get there. Jeremy Lin is banged up and won’t be suiting up tonight against Orlando, the conference’s third best team. Anthony is dealing with a groin pull himself which he gutted through in the fourth quarter and will gut through again tonight against the Magic. It is admirable to see him play through pain, especially when the lifting will be so heavy without his power forward and point guard.

The Knicks have quality role players around Anthony and have learned to win ugly with defense, hustle and rebounding which is a beautiful and welcome sight to basketball fans in this city who have fond memories of the early 90s. Yet, if they are going to get through this brutal stretch of the schedule which is filled with playoff caliber opponents, it must be Anthony who takes the lead on both ends of the floor. The Knicks need their franchise player to carry them to a playoff spot and just maybe a division title.

These are the kind of situations where elite players are made and Anthony knows that.

“A situation like this requires me to step my game up a little bit more, take it up a notch,” Anthony said. “I love moments like this.” – Carmelo Anthony on Monday.

The Knicks brought him here to love moments like this and to thrive in them. There is enough talent around Anthony to make some real noise in the Eastern Conference, now it is up to him to lead the charge.

TOJ New York Knicks Rant

A needed release of anger about the New York Knicks, the world’s softest professional sports team

As I wait for news of free agent meetings and hopefully signings to trickle in about the New York Jets. I need to get a quick rant off about the New York Knicks, who are truly nauseating to watch these days.

How soft can you be? You can’t put into the words the disgust around New York City right now when it comes to this team. Amare…you are making 100 million dollars, stop being outworked by Taj Gibson on every single play. Jump. Get rebounds. Play defense. Have pride in yourself as an athlete and as a man as you watch opposing basketball players continually slam the basketball down your throat and jump over you repeatedly for rebounds.

Carmelo…nobody wants to hear your whining about Mike D’Antoni, not until you dive on the floor for loose balls and stop letting the person you are covering continually out hustle you. You aren’t doing enough on offense to merit the lackadaisical effort on the other side of the court…really, nothing should merit lackadaisical effort on defense but it would be easier to stomach if you shot a higher percentage and took over on offense down the stretch. Don’t come to New York and sulk. Be a leader and take this city over.

Mike D’Antoni…you are good as gone but the least you could do is pick a rotation, stay with it and call your superstars out when they aren’t performing. Why not? You think you are coming back next year as your team scraps with the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers for the 8th seed?

Jeremy Lin may not be playing as well as he was last month but he is a rookie (based on playing time) point guard dropped into this toxic situation. He has been good enough for the Knicks to win and at least he is hustling around. At least Iman Shumpert and Landry Fields for all their shortcomings, play defense and run every second they are on the court. Tyson Chandler is currently the only player on this roster worth his big contract, as he battles through injury and still manages to rebound and defend.

The blame goes to the big three, the two “superstars” and the coach. The city is embarrassed of you and you should be embarrassed of yourself.

Gutless New York Knicks Keep Losing

The gutless New York Knicks hit rock bottom today

A week ago I wrote an article about the New York Knicks failing a big test in Boston when they lost an overtime heartbreaker. The reality is that since Paul Pierce hit that ridiculous three pointer, the Knicks have played their worst basketball of the entire season.

You can tolerate losing when a team is out there scrapping and playing their hearts out. If you don’t have enough talent or catch enough breaks, losses happen and you can accept it. This isn’t the case with the Knicks team, who is overloaded with talent but lacks heart, leadership, and physicality which makes them nearly insufferable to watch at times.

There is no shame in losing in Dallas and San Antonio. Those are tough places to play against two very good teams. It is how they lost those games, by carelessly throwing the ball away and allowing a barrage of uncontested dunks, lay-ups and open three point attempts.

There is shame in losing in Milwaukee, especially when you allow 119 points to a subpar team. How are you letting the Bucks so clearly want a game more than you? Where is the pride?

Today was a must win game at home against the division leading Sixers. The Knicks responded with turnovers, weak defense, and a muddled offensive attack. It became clear by midway through the third quarter that they were going to be outclassed. Outclassed, despite having a roster with their type of talent.

Where does the blame go? Most people want to throw it at Carmelo Anthony but I think Bill Simmons was dead on his analysis of the anger being directed at Anthony in this article. He needs to get better on defense but he is the least of the Knicks problems right now. This is a team that needs to get better across the board on both ends of the floor. Mike D’Antoni needs to find the answers on offense because that is what he is supposed to be able to do. Defense comes from energy, hustle and the willingness to be great on that end of the floor. D’Antoni can’t force that on his players. They need to look in the mirror and step up.

There is a hesitancy to criticize Amare Stoudemire because he came here first last year and chose the Knicks in free agency. I don’t even care about him losing a step on offense. What I do care about is the putrid defensive that trickles down to the rest of this team. He is nearly 7 feet tall and has some measure of athleticism left. There is no reason for him to be THAT bad on defense.

Jeremy Lin has come back down to Earth. Nobody expects him to score at the rate he was last month. He must learn to protect the basketball however, just like Baron Davis must learn to protect the ball.

You can’t have a prominent big man on your team not defend and your point guards not protect the ball. It trickles down the bad habits to the rest of the team.

We are now at the point where it looks like the Knicks will be scrapping for the number eight seed in the East. I still believe anything can happen in these lockout shortened playoffs (see the Knicks last run to the NBA Finals), especially when you have Anthony in short series. For now, can we at least see a little heart?