New York Knicks: How Does Carmelo Anthony Fit Into His New Team's Offense?
The New York Knicks were obviously craving star power and a more potent offensive player when they finally acquired Carmelo Anthony after much negotiation with the Nuggets.
It’s no question that Anthony’s acquisition was the biggest trade the Knicks have made in the last decade. There’s no doubt Anthony is already being celebrated as the city’s favorite son, a homegrown hero.
While he’s sure to play a big role in New York, getting acclimated to the Knicks’ offense may take some time as he prepares to step into such a role.
Though the Knicks won Anthony’s debut with an electrifying victory over the Bucks at MSG, Anthony poured in 27 points, but only shot 10 for 25 from the field. Many others struggled to find their shooting touch on the Knicks as well, as the team clearly needed time to practice.
With a couple days of preparation under their belt, the Knicks will take on the Cavaliers, whom they have already suffered an embarrassing loss to this season.
When Anthony steps on the court for his new team Friday night, just how will he fit into their offense?
Everyone knows Anthony will find a way to score, but just how he gets his points remains to be seen. He’s not quite the three-point shooter that Danilo Gallinari is or Wilson Chandler was coming to be, so the Knicks will have make adjustments in their offensive sets.
Instead, Anthony stands to play a more physical role for the now size-deprived Knicks. Having already begun to call for the ball there against the Bucks, Anthony could very well become a post player for his new team.
If the Knicks lost anything in the trade for Anthony, it was the little size they had. Physicality was already lacking. Though Ronny Turiaf’s defensive presence is sure to balance out the starting lineup, there will be times when Turiaf is not on the court and Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire will have to shift to the power forward and center positions.
Then Anthony’s offense will come alive.
Against the Bucks, Anthony displayed aggressiveness (something much needed on this Knicks squad) as he evaded defenders to get inside for easy dunks that excited the pumped up Garden crowd. The combination of quickness and his physical nature is what will help Anthony carry the Knicks with his offense.
Again, Anthony can hit the three-ball if need be: he hit 33% of his attempts as a Denver Nugget. Having said that, it’s unlikely he’ll be planted at the three-point line like many Knicks forwards were before him.
While the Knicks offense thrives on the pick and roll, it’s probable the Knicks will continue to go to (Billups and) Stoudemire in that regard. While Anthony may be relied upon as well, his post-up moves could further benefit the Knicks.
A 6’9 forward that averages over 7.5 rebounds per game, Anthony will be preferred in the low post with Stoudemire. While he may not have played such a physical role in Denver, D’Antoni’s offense will bring the most out of Anthony’s physicality, just as it previously brought the most out of Raymond Felton’s playmaking ability.
If it’s anything that D’Antoni’s offense does, it’s bring out the best in the abilities of his players. Felton is not likely to see the same type of success in Denver. Alas, Anthony, will be seeing a different type of offensive success in New York as a cog in D’Antoni’s system.
On the defensive end, Anthony’s rebounding numbers could see an increase with the Knicks. After averaging 9 rebounds earlier in the season, Anthony could see that statistic elevate to that level again, as the Knicks need a rebounding presence as well.
There’s no doubt that in Carmelo Anthony the Knicks acquired one of the league’s best: a dominant scorer with a star persona hungry for a big city like New York. He will thrive as a New York Knick, but just how he goes about scoring may surprise fans familiar with his game.