Over at the Mothership, I was joined by some NBA blogger luminaries to talk Game 2 adjustments for tonight’s trio of games. Here was one question (the most intriguing, I thought):
4. Fact or Fiction: Melo is the most important player in the playoffs.
Cavan: Fact. That “Win Now” is the season’s refrain tells you how important the Knicks view their current window, however narrow. LeBron might be King, Kevin Durant a usurper, and CP3 a merciless marshal, but don’t underestimate the power of a starving kingdom to drive its savior.
Cianfrone: Fiction. With LeBron James, the Heat are title favorites. Without him, they drop down to the level of the Knicks and Pacers. There just isn’t a player who affects the title picture as much as James, especially with the level he is playing at, at the moment. Melo is a close second.
Gutierrez: Fiction. The Knicks have performed well in big games without Melo during the regular season. When the ball is moving and J.R. Smith is taking good shots, they can still win even without huge performances from Anthony. The most important player is probably Chris Paul. His team would be absolutely lost without him.
Robb: Fiction. Melo is the most important piece on the Knicks, but the NBA playoffs is a two-way game. Anthony doesn’t do enough on the defensive end of the floor to merit that title. Until someone is able to stop him, James is still the most important player out there, even on a loaded Heat roster.
Schmidt: Fiction. He means a great deal to the Knicks’ success, and without him, New York wouldn’t be getting out of the first round. But there’s no basketball player on planet Earth more important than James right now. He barely moved on Sunday and tossed up stats that would represent a career game for most.
You can read the rest of my nonsense here. Game time in less than nine hours!