Mailbag: Can Carmelo Anthony be the best player on a championship club?

From Arnav: Can Carmelo Anthony be the best player on a title winning team?

Sam Spiegelman

Carmelo AnthonyWithout a doubt, Anthony can be the best player of a championship team. However, it’s not as easy at it may sound.

With a player like LeBron James — unquestionably the best all-around player in basketball — a championship was not handed to him simply because of his skill-set. James was arguably the best player in the league in Cleveland, and despite numerous trips into the playoffs, was unable to close.

James needed to relocate to Miami and be surrounded by an able cast of characters in order to make a playoff run and earn his first NBA title. There is no question James was the best player on the team during both championships, but at times he was picked up by Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, etc.

It’s a similar situation for Anthony, who in Denver nearly willed the Nuggets past the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. Anthony was far and away the best player on the Nuggets back then, and during those playoffs had a team that looked like it was capable of competing for a title, but he was simply outmatched by Kobe Bryant and the Lakers’ star-studded squad.

In New York, the team is assembled around Anthony’s skill-set. Tyson Chandler provides the interior defense, while J.R. Smith serves as a second scoring option and perimeter-shooting threat, and Raymond Felton is the point guard needed to distribute.

Thus far, however, the formula has failed the produce the desired results.

Whatever moves or changes the Knicks make — be it a different coach, personnel, etc. — Anthony is the caliber player that can an NBA Finals MVP. He’s an elite scorer, an able rebounder, and at times has stepped up defensively and stymied the other teams’ best player.

But just like Kevin Durant or James while in Cleveland or Bryant on those lowly Lakers squads, Anthony has yet to hit his stride with the right group of players around during a playoff run. Nobody can doubt Anthony’s talents, and we’ve seen him take over games time and time again. But often one player shoulders the blame when his team fails to go deep in the postseason, and that one player is the star of the team, which in this case is Carmelo Anthony.




14 comments
towlie22
towlie22

Do you think Garnett or Lebron would be 5-15 with this team? The question is how much desire does Carmelo have. He starts the year talking about being a free agent. Things go bad so he tells people he wants out. If Carmelo really wants to help this team, he should tell the Knicks if he intends to stay or not and if he doesn't they should trade and if he does he should sign. If he refuses to say and then intends to leave, it will be Karma if he get injured, after rejecting the Knicks long term deal. We traded all our pieces for this guy and he's not sure if he wants to stay and see if he can work it out.

JerseyFan1
JerseyFan1

This game is OVER. Indy & heat is more interesting.

nyijkm
nyijkm

simple solution: Get Melo some help. Help at this point is NOT Felton, JR or Amare (at this point of his career). I love STAT but imagine the help Melo could have with all that salary to role players. We would have this years version of Battier, Miller and Allen all tailored around Melo.


This notion that we need to trade Melo or are better without him is STUPID. As Francesca says, what player besides LeBron can you bring in and win instantly with? NOBODY. So it might as well be the second coming of Bernard King, why the hell not?

Mr.Boots
Mr.Boots

Yes,, On the court, if he can maintain complete focus on all facets of his game and the game for extended stretches of the schedule (everybody has a little let-down here and there).

Off the court, if he can learn to think a little more before he speaks. He often rambles and ends up saying the opposite of what he obviously means. Parsed quotes are a PITA that keeps the focus from being totally about his job.

 I've often said that high-profile players get caught up in interviews, making commercials, shows, etc. Seems the busy life makes games like noon games a bother, an interruption. Think last Sunday.

Kojo1111
Kojo1111

Of course. Contrary to what many have critiqued Melo is a great player--not good great. He needs to be on a team where roles are clearly defined and everyone knows the pecking order. Under a great coach Carmelo could lead his team to chip. He hasn't been lucky enough to be on one of those teams...yet. No team has won a championship without great coaching. The question should have been can Woody COACH any team to a championship. We all know the answer to that one.

Tikki
Tikki

Yes, but your margin for error is very small.  Especially if Carmelo is making $20M-$25M under a $60M salary cap.

clyde69
clyde69

Thread answer is YES..Melo needs a second shooting option so he is not always doubled.Knicks need a better pg than Felton.

chudogz1
chudogz1

I agree, he has no real help... We need a batman for our robin or vice versa

chrisb
chrisb

@VernonZee You are right on. Speaking the truth, Karl, Dummy and Woody do not coach def, although the Woodster says he does. The sad thing is this might be the first year in all his NBA seasons he doesn`t even get in the playoffs

JerseyFan1
JerseyFan1

Missing the micro' surgery on both lower legs(shin area). During Phoenix days.