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Since the Carmelo trade during last years 2010-2011 NBA season there has been speculation on both ends whether the trade was better for Denver or New York. Initially it seemed the Knicks were getting the sweet end of the deal but looking at the numbers now, some people may think a little differently. Looking at the regular season records for both teams since the Carmelo Anthony trade, the Knicks are 20-22, not even .500, while the Denver Nuggets are 28-12, sixteen games over .500.
When analyzing the trade that took place between the NY Knicks the Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Timberwolves, neither team kept all players in the trade. Most of these players were traded after the lockout for other reasons. The Knicks lost Raymond Felton who was their starting point guard, although they received a veteran point guard in Chauncey Billups through the trade, after the lockout they got rid of Billups to free up cap space to sign big free agent Tyson Chandler from the Mavericks.
Everyone knows that D’Antoni preaches offense and is known for not being the best defensive coach. Then this stat would confuse some people in that, the Knicks are 22nd in offensive efficiency, which is a stat that measures points per every 100 possessions. While the Knicks are 22nd in this category the, “Meloless” Nuggets rank 5th.
So this leads to the question what is missing in the NY Knicks offense and the answer is: a solid point guard. With the loss of Billups and Felton, the Knicks fell back to signing two other veteran point guards, Mike Bibby from the Miami Heat, and Baron Davis from the Cleveland Cavaliers who is still trying to return from injuries.
With that in mind, much of the weight of the Knicks offense was not on any of their “Big 3″ so to speak, but on their rookie point guard Iman Shumpert out of Georgia Tech. Shumpert has come to the starting position and said in an interview about Carmelo and Stoudemire, “We’re making them take a lot of tough shots and we’re depending on them to score points,” Shumpert said. “We’ve got to make the offense a lot smoother.”
Shumpert makes a good point because coming into Wednesday game against the Suns, the Knicks were fifth worst in field goal percentage, and in the game against the Suns, the Knicks shot only 37.5 percent. Shumpert has a lot to learn being a rookie. When you look at teams like the San Antonio Spurs with Tony Parker, you see a team with a solid point guard with a smooth running offense.
That means breaking down the defense, running the offense, calling the right plays and finding the open man in order to put points on the board. Maybe Knicks is not giving Shumpert time to develop and go after veteran point guard Steve Nash who will be a free agent after this season. Looking back he ran a flawless offense with Stoudmire that could potentially work in D’Antoni’s offense.
The Knicks look to turn their four game losing streak around this Friday at the Garden when the 4-9 Milwaukee Bucks come into town. More importantly the Nuggets come to NY for the first time since the Melo trade and they come into the Garden with a better record the NY Knicks, and all eyes are on Melo to deliver an all-star performance.
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