Trouble in Gotham City is Not Melo’s Fault

Immediately after the trade, many were debating just how far this Knicks team could go when the real season begins in April.  Unrealistic expectations for the Knickerbockers were heightened even more after a huge win in Miami, but as recent play shows these expectations may have been fool’s gold.

Since that big win in Miami the Knicks have gone through some growing pains, especially recently with a 6-game losing streak.  With the Knicks struggling, many fingers have been pointed at Anthony but are these struggles really Melo’s fault?

Offensively, Melo has continued to play at a high level scoring 25 points along with 6.2 rebounds for the Knicks. Melo has also shot 45 percent from the field, which is just a couple of percentage points below what he was shooting in Denver.

While Melo’s scoring has been superb, critics say that he has slowed the Knicks run and gun offense down. The fact is that Melo is more of an isolation player, something that the Knicks’ front office should have known.

The Knicks offense hasn’t been slowed down only because of Anthony though, as the lack of a pass first point guard has hindered the Knicks offense. Many critics also point to the reduction in Amare Stoudamire’s role as further proof that Melo can’t elevate his teammates. This is also false as Stoudamire is getting nearly as many shots per game as he did with Anthony.

Despite criticism of Anthony’s game on offense, the Knicks’ don’t have a problem putting the ball in the hoop. Their problem comes on the other side of the ball, where once again Anthony has faced the brunt of the criticism.

Anthony has been labeled as lay on the defensive side of the ball by many, some even blaming him for the Knicks’ defensive struggles. To blame Anthony for the Knicks lack of defense is ridiculous as the finger should be pointed at Coach Mike D’Antoni, who is known for not only his offensive genius but also his lack of defensive preparation.

Perhaps most of all to blame for the Knicks struggles is their roster. The Knicks do have three very good players in Anthony, Stoudamire and Billups but there is not much beyond those three. Outside Landry Fields, Toney Douglas and Ronny Turiaf, the Knicks do not have the deep roster and key role players necessary to make a championship run.

Next: Patience is necessary for Knicks

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