The always interesting Chris Herring over at the Wall Street Journal, throws around some numbers to suggest that the Knicks may consider moving Carmelo Anthony back to small forward, especially given his recent achy knees. Anthony obviously returned Monday night in Golden State, but still looked a little gimpy. He’s gamely battled players larger than himself for most of the season and done a really impressive job, but Herring points out that not only has that strategy perhaps worn down Melo, but it hasn’t been as successful of late since it blazed through the NBA early in the season:
But his lofty numbers have taken a considerable tumble, and lineups with Anthony featured at power forward have struggled just as much. Since outscoring opponents by 17.7 points per 100 possessions in November with Anthony in the post, the Knicks’ scoring margin shrank to just 0.2 points per 100 possessions in December. The Knicks were slightly better than their opponents in February with Anthony at power forward, but they got smoked in January, when they were outscored by 12.7 points with such lineups.
March hasn’t been much better: They entered Monday’s game at Golden State getting beaten by 10.7 points this month when Anthony plays power forward, according to Stats LLC. In all, the Knicks had a scoring margin of 3.9 points with Anthony as their second-tallest player on the court.
It definitely has been that Anthony hasn’t been quite as effective as he was earlier in the season, and his shooting percentage has now dropped to .438 on the season. A move to small forward might make some sense, or at least a bigger effort to move him away from guarding team’s opposing power forwards, as he’s been asked to carry a pretty heavy load all season, and given the loss of Amar’e Stoudemire, he’s going to be asked to do even more.
Or in other words, it’s crystal clear that ensuring Carmelo is able to play at his absolute best is pretty much the most important thing the Knicks are currently being charged with, and anything that could aid with that should obviously be considered.