Oh, what a difference a couple of weeks make! Just a few weeks ago, the New York Knicks were everyone's trendy pick to be the third best team in the NBA Eastern Conference because of the meteoric rise of point guard Jeremy Lin.
The former Harvard grad went from the deepest part of the bench to the toast of the town. Chants of 'Linsanity' were being tossed from the highest rafters and the Knicks were finally winning and on the cusp of greatness.
Then Carmelo Anthony came back from injury.
Anthony, arguably one of the top 5 players in this league, has floundered in his short time in New York. He seems a shell of his former self with shoddy play and a total lack of understanding in his role within head coach Mike D'Antonio's system. Since his return from injury, the Knicks have lost their winning ways. In fact, if you look at the season as a whole, the team is just plain better without him suited up. They are 11-17 with Anthony playing and 7-4 without; a difference that is shocking considering how talented Anthony is.
The problem with Anthony and the Knicks isn't talent, they have arguably the best collection of skill in the league. It's the lack of teamwork and chemistry that's the issue. This problem falls mainly in the lap of Anthony because since his return from injury, the style of offense has slowed down and has rendered both Lin and the Knicks far more helpless than they should be.
Anthony has shown poor decision making and a total lack of defensive instinct and it's spreading throughout this team like the plague. He has Lin second guessing himself and the rest of the team is so out of synch that while they looked like a four-seed just 14 days ago, they are now barely clinging to the 8th seed.
Now, with all this being said, the fix for this isn't readily available or easy. It's not like you can make Anthony ride pine or anything of that nature. He's the face of the franchise and it's best player. Somehow, someway, Anthony needs to wake up and realize that he can still be a great player and not be the center of the attention.
Because, really, that's what it is all about. Anthony just wants to be the main man on HIS team, can you dig it?
I could, if he would actually step it up and be that guy.
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