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How is the Melo Experiment Working Out So Far?

By Jared Dubin
Follow me on Twitter: @JADubin5

There were 28 games remaining in the season when the New York Knicks traded for Carmelo Anthony. 14 of those games have now been played and the new-look Knicks record in those games stands at 7-7. This shouldn’t come as that big of a surprise. That other team in South Beach started the season with a record of just 9-8 after 17 games. It takes a while for superstar-laden teams to gel, to gain chemistry, to really find their stride. What makes the Knicks record so surprising is the fact that they are 1-5 against teams with under .500 records. This of course also means that the Carmelo-led Knicks are 6-2 against teams with above .500 records. So what’s the difference? Why do the Knicks struggle against bad teams while thriving against better ones?

First, and most importantly, it comes down to defense. In 6 games against opponents with records under .500 (amazingly all from the Central Division - Cleveland and Indiana twice, Milwaukee and Detroit once each), the Knicks are allowing 111 points per game on 48.6% from the field and 42.5% from three. In 8 games against teams with above .500 records (Miami, Orlando, New Orleans, Utah, Dallas, Atlanta, Memphis (2)), the Knicks allow just 101.5 points per game on 47.1% from the field and 34.5% from three. That really just comes down to effort and intensity. The Knicks get up for big games and bring the defensive intensity. When they are playing lesser opponents, they relax because they think they can coast on their offensive talent.

The Knicks score 109.6 points per game on 49.8% from the field and 40% from three in games against teams with under .500 records. In games against teams with over .500 records, those numbers are 108.7 points per game on 47.6% from the field and 41.5% from three. Offensively, there is not much difference in how the Knicks have played against good teams versus how they have fared against bad teams. They actually average 0.9 less points per game against above .500 teams, and shoot a worse percentage from the field by 2.2%. They shoot 1.5% better from three. It really is all about defense. Defense is all about effort and intensity. The Knicks need to realize that offense alone will not win games for them and bring their defensive intensity every night.


  1. You would think having a player like Carmelo would keep the intensity high in all games as he typically is always at 100% but some players just don't get it.

  2. Nice work Jared. I agree 100%. Added you on my blogroll...:)

  3. @Anonymous

    Carmelo has shown he can at times bring the defensive intensity, it's all about doing that consistently now.

    Thanks. I'll check out your site too.

  4. Jared,

    I agree with your assessment. Melo can play D, and do it better than most people think. Just watched the Knicks lose to Orlando and Denver beat SA. I think the Nuggets are finding out the players they received are much better than they were given credit for and the Knicks are finding out they miss that group more than they ever thought. The combo of Lawson and Felton lets Denver play at light speed in the high altitude. They will win games over many teams simply be running. I honestly believe the true assessment of Melo/Amare will come in the playoffs. Games are slower and half court offense is vital. Melo/Amare I think are at their best here. Will keep a close eye.

  5. I'm pretty sure after the lockout Melo will do something pretty good for his team and might win the championship this coming season.