The Knicks were pummeled by the Celtics on Sunday afternoon, and the division-leader didn't even need the injured superstar Rajon Rondo to make it happen.
With their latest defeat (the loss proved to be the greatest marginal loss by an NBA team this season), it's clear New York simply isn't out of the woods yet. Frustratingly enough, however, the team doesn't only have to worry about getting things turned around this season, but also just staying competitive in a general sense so that Carmelo Anthony doesn't opt to jump ship and leave the Big Apple come next season via free agency.
Perhaps taking matters into his own hands a bit more before things get any worse, a recent rumor asserts that Anthony has already begun "recruiting" Rondo to come join him in donning a Knicks uniform.
Though New York's already resident superstar has since denied the claim (obviously), Tyson Chandler sure had plenty of time to chat up Rondo during halftime of the matinee matchup between the two teams on Sunday. You can see the two injured stars taking time to talk in the picture above.
But alas, the question should not simply be whether or not players like Anthony and/or Chandler are laying the ground work early for a player like Rondo to join them in New York. Instead, it should be whether or not Rondo would be able to help them much at all.
Rondo's a very interesting player. There's no doubt he can run an offense to perfection, and in doing so, he makes his teammates better by making things easier for each one of them offensively. But in turn, the ball is always in Rondo's hands, as the offense runs through him at all times. He makes things happen, and his team's offense goes as he says it does.
Of course, while Anthony's no floor general, much of the above analysis seems to apply to him as well, for better or for worse.
Anthony is also the type of player who thrives with the ball in his hands. While he's not a distributer, the star forward can instead create his own offense and then get things cooking. On the flip side, Rondo obviously creates for others instead.
With players like Anthony and J.R. Smith in town, the Knicks have been known to run isolation plays as a main facet of their overall offensive game. Such a strategy seemingly goes out of the window with a point guard like Rondo running the show.
Would the aforementioned scoring options currently on New York's roster be able to concede (the ball) to Rondo for the greater good? That remains to be seen, but it's worth noting that Anthony has previously been able to thrive with point guards who are able to play well off the ball too, like Chauncey Billups and more recently, Raymond Felton. When Jeremy Lin was in town, the Big Apple was overtaken by Linsanity, and while Anthony may not have particularly struggled, he never appeared quite as dominant as he should be, or usually does.
So in part, the question should not just be whether or not guys like Anthony or Chandler are beginning to recruit Rondo early on, but rather if it's still possible at all that the latter superstar would be able to make a worthwhile impact with the Knicks instead.no comments