Knicks 2017 Rountable: Carmelo Anthony

Look into your crystal ball, and tell us what you see for Carmelo Anthony in 2017.

Fisher-Cohen: If the team plays uptempo, Melo will benefit from the transition threes on which he thrived in his two best seasons in NY. I don’t think, unfortunately, over the course of a season, 32 year old Melo can be the guy who draws the defense and creates opportunities for others every possession. There was only one player age 32+ last season who played 1800 minutes with a BPM over +1.0: Pau Gasol. This is out of 64 total players who accomplished the feat. If Melo’s going to continue as an elite player, sooner rather than later, he’ll need help.

Does he have it? Of the three players the Knicks added to their starting lineup, none had a positive OBPM last season. What really concerns me though is that it’s just so hard to score effectively when you have two guys who aren’t scoring threats from anywhere on the court. The point of ball and player movement is to force defenses to move, but if you’ve got multiple players out there who don’t concern the defense, it makes their rotations so much easier.

If Rose is hurt or visited by some doctors from the Starfleet who restore his athleticism, sure, I could see Melo having a nice season where he matches career highs in efficiency and just scores in lower volume, but the latter at least is a long shot.

Kurylo: An objective person would look at Carmelo Anthony and have a pessimistic outlook for 2017. Over the last 4 years, he’s missed an average of 18 games, his ts% has dropped about 30 points, and his pts/36 is down 5.5 pts. For a player of his scoring frequency, his efficiency is below average. Looking at the 18 players that averaged at least 22.4 pts/36 last year, only 2 had a ts% lower than ‘Melo: Dwayne Wade and the artistic performance that was Kobe Bryant’s last season. (Wait — that was a real athlete actually trying to compete?)

On the other hand Anthony might be making up for his diminished scoring in other areas. He had career highs in rebounds and assists per minute. And he seems interesting in sharing the spotlight with Porzingis, something that he may have had issues with in the past (see: Linsanity).

But it’s hard to argue that this is enough compensation for his decline in his main strength: scoring. Also consider that Anthony’s summer rest was interrupted by the Olympics and that he’s on the wrong side of 30. How can I logically make the case that his production will increase from his last two seasons?

So for Melo I see about 10-15 games missed, a ts% that might be reach 53.0%, and him reaching a level of maturity that previously eluded him.

Plugh: The only thing I can say for sure is that Carmelo Anthony will always get his shots. I feel relatively comfortable saying that Melo will get most of his shots in isolation, as he usually does, and the million dollar question is whether or not he’ll return to the Jason Kidd-era ball movement that we saw work so effectively on the way to 54 wins. The Knicks are clearly going to play faster this season, but we don’t yet know what makeup of plays to expect. Will they run a lot more pick and roll? Will they get comfortable whipping the ball around? Will every possession that extends beyond 10-12 seconds end with a Melo isolation? In principle, that shouldn’t happen given Phil Jackson’s wishes, and Jeff Hornacek’s past coaching philosophy. What’s going to give? You’d hope Melo will bend, if only a little.

His health is going to remain a question for the rest of his career. He’s on the other side of 30 and he’s coming off a busy offseason at the Olympic Games. Everyone loves Olympic Melo, but four years is a long time, and we don’t know how this version of Olympic Melo is going to hold up. One of the upsides to resting Melo from time to time is the emphasis on Kristaps Porzingis as go-to-guy. We’ve already seen it in the preseason as Melo sat out periodically. Porzingis goes from support player to alpha dog and his game really blossoms. My hope is that Melo sits out periodically (DNP-Old) and Porzingis gets to shine.

Gibberman: I understand and think all the concerns brought up above are reasonable, but I think there’s a path for Melo to be more efficient than he was the last two seasons.

The increased pace and more fluid offense will create easier shots than he’s had the last two seasons. According to NBA.com, Anthony shot 38% on catch & shoot threes last year, up from 35% the year before. Playing off of Rose, Jennings and Noah should help push him towards these type of shots.

Even though we didn’t see it much in the preseason, I believe Hornacek will unleash Porzingis and Melo at C/PF together for at least 5-12 minutes every night. Maybe it doesn’t happen right away but either through injuries or just the offense needing a boost it will get there. This will also help Melo be more efficient.

The injuries are an undeniable problem. His defense still isn’t good enough on a consistent basis. Melo has his flaws as a player but that doesn’t mean he can’t play at a high level with a smarter team-wide approach.

81 replies on “Knicks 2017 Rountable: Carmelo Anthony”

I love reading the pre-season round-tables because now is the only time when looking at advance stats has value. Of course, we can use statistics to prove any point, but it’s forecasting at it’s purest. That being said, I was curious about OBPM, looked it up and decided that I’m glad they somehow boiled it down to 0 being average, +5 being really good and -5 being really bad. Otherwise my head would explode.

My predictions are not going to be as scientific.

Melo will be about what he was last year. I think he’ll be in isolation less because you won’t have a bunch of guys standing around gawking at him. He’ll get more clean shots off because of the attention that Rose/Jennings draw when they drive the lane and the Knicks won’t need to rely on him taking on a defender in an ISO game. He’ll also have some viable 3-pt options to kick the ball out to.

What nobody covered above was defense. That’s where effort is important. Can he stop LeBron, Durant, AD and other studs? It’ll take effort and the pre-season did not show us anything on that end of the floor. As players age, they slow down. Will he keep up? He’s never been a defensive stopper and if there’s slippage, I think we’ll see it there.

I believe that Melo will be very similar to last year minus the horrendously slow start. Therefore his efficiency will be a few ticks better overall. His three ball also looks significantly better than last year so far in preseason so hopefully that’s a trend that keeps up

I think he’ll go to the basket less and less and shoot midrange jumpers more and more. Thumbs inching downwards.

I think Melo will see his usage drop to around 27-28 with an increase in his TS% to around 55. He’ll probably take more 3’s and the quality of those opportunities will be better than the 3’s he took last season. I also think him and Noah will have good chemistry in running 2-man game in both PNR and dribble hand-off.

i think melo is inline for a great year…. porzingis will probably be the best teammate on the offensive end he’s had as a knick… if he continues to make progress with his passing and his 3p% rebounds closer to .370 … both of which i’m pretty optimistic about… then he should challenge his career high’s in offensive efficiency….

FWIW – and maybe it’s not much.

Last year’s team had a combined eFG of 48.3%.

This year in the preseason (6 games), the Knicks were 6th in eFG at 52%. Out of the 18 players that played in the preseason, only 6 of them had an eFG <50%, and of those 6, only Lance Thomas and Jennings figure to see any minutes whatsoever (Tokoto/Amundson gone, Holiday and NDour were the others). Some of that of course has to do with the fact that we played the Nets twice, but we also played Boston twice.

Re: Melo – he should shoot a lot more 3's this year, so I would guess his eFG will be above 50 for the year. His 3PAr was 28.3 in the preseason, which would be a career high for him if carried over to the regular season. I'm a bit worried about how bad his 2P% was in the preseason (41.7%!).

by the way – KP — eFG 58.3, TS 62.2 in the preseason. I love that guy.

Courtney Lee, who supposedly had a bad preseason – TS and eFG of 69%. I will take that.

(see here for preseason stats)

Here’s a quote I found from Rick Carlisle, copied here only to give Jowles a stroke. I can only imagine if this was a Knicks coach! (by the way i think Carlisle is amazing)

In seven preseason games, [Harrison] Barnes averaged seven points and three rebounds in 20 minutes per game while shooting 27 percent from the floor. He’s missed 18 of his 21 three-pointers and has as many assists as turnovers. The concerns about his ability to take on more responsibility on a new team have been validated, at least so far.

It’s preseason, which barely qualifies as NBA basketball. Teams are giving tryouts to players who are hoping to make the team and the rotations are not set. Most projected starters get a pass, and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle doesn’t seem too worried.

“Shooting percentages have never been an important thing to me,” Carlisle said, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “I look much more at the process, the force, and conviction with which guys are stepping into shots.”

Color me optimistic.
There is some correlation between Melo’s two year decline in efficiency and his rocky adaptation to the triangle. Melo is not a thinking player; he is, IMHO, instinct and reaction.
1. I don’t believe he has ever liked the triangle. He is a far more capable pick and roll player.
Hornacek’s up-tempo offense will suit him well, and his offense, while incorporating some elements of the triangle, will employ a lot of PNR.
2. The up-tempo will get him lots of transition 3 attempts. Last I saw, Melo still has one of the sweetest strokes in the NBA. Expect his TS% to get better on that strength alone.
3. The PNR will leave him with some mid-range action, but also will allow him to get to the line when he charges the glass. Easy baskets and more trips to the stripe also means greater efficiency.
4. For the first time in years, Melo will have a PG, whether Rose or Jennings, quick enough to collapse a defense and kick out for open jays. I am reading some commentary saying that Rose’s quickness still rivals John Wall. While that is hard to believe, even being in the neighborhood of Wall’s speed and quickness still makes Rose a grave danger to defenses. Jennings has been impressively quick in preseason.
5. I expect Melo’s usage to drop off a bit with Rose and Jennings running the point and with KP becoming more of a force offensively.
6. Also, with KP and Noah prowling the paint, expect more fast break opportunities with horses like Rose and Jennings.
7. With more offensive weapons available than in recent years, Melo won’t be physically as taxed as in recent years and that should help him avoid injuries. Rose, Jennings, KP and even Lee, who is a better shooter than most know, all are viable scorers.
8. He will enjoy being a big SF, after a few years of being a smaller PF. I have always liked him better in the SF ( a minority view here). It is not surprising that his efficiency has declined as he was asked to take on more PF work.

I like what both Franks said.

Frank for quoting Carlisle. I agree with Carlisle’s statement “Shooting percentages have never been an important thing to me.” All too often the shooting percent is a result of the system. In the molasses based offense the Knicks employed last season, many shot’s came with time expiring, under pressure. Hornacek’s speed-ball offense will result in many more high percentage opportunities.

Frank O. said “He will enjoy being a big SF, after a few years of being a smaller PF. I have always liked him better in the SF ( a minority view here)” and I’m in the minority too, here. I’ll add that playing SF will keep him healthy, longer. The key to me is whether he can defend that position with quicker, more athletic players in that role.

RJ Hunter and Gary Payton II both waived today. I would easily want one of them over NDour or Plumlee. Maybe not Ndour, but definitely Plumlee.

by the way is Plumlee basically Mark Madsen reborn?

Why is Hunter good? He’s a shooter that hasn’t shot well from 3 in a few years.

I think Melo is gonna have a good year. His 3 point shot was off last year and I think a lot of that had to do with getting back up to speed after his first major stint of not playing/practicing basketball in his entire career. When the training camp began last year he had only been up and running for about a month. This year he’s coming into the season healthy. He’s played olympic ball and all of last season. He’s gonna get a lot of those fast break trailer 3 opportunities and he’s gonna get some open 3s this year…probably the most since the 54 win season where he was pretty money from long range.

The key for me is whether Melo can maintain the good passing he developed last year. His shooting was off most of last year but it was nice to see him pass and distribute the best of his career. Hopefully he will keep that attitude this year.

I like Hunter. If we didn’t already have Baker I’d be screaming for Phil to sign him. I like Payton too, but I’d rather have Randle because we know he can run our halfcourt sets while playing good defense. Payton would need to learn the offense, and with Rose & Jennings (to a lesser degree), we need a 3rd PG who’s ready.

“Shooting percentages have never been an important thing to me,” Carlisle said, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “I look much more at the process, the force, and conviction with which guys are stepping into shots.”

An NBA coach’s words mean nothing. Words on paper are not really important. Nobody says things on paper, that’s why we speak out loud.

What I want to know is if Carlisle said this with force and conviction? What was his stance like when he said it? Did he have his feet shoulder-width apart and hands on his hips, with a straight back? What was his facial expression like? Stern annoyance with his eyebrows, a downward curl at the corners of his mouth?

That’s what’s really important.

RJ Hunter was the 28th pick in the 2015 draft, so I doubt he has shot bad from 3 for a few years. He didn’t get much PT last year…
This kid can flat out shoot from anywhere. I really think in a couple of years we will wonder how a team could possibly have waived him. Come on Phil grab him now!

@16 I know you’re joking, but there is miscommunication in text all the time for want of body language, tone, etc.

@16 – Mike, I love your response! As you know, I’m slightly less passionate about stats than most here. If my friends would hear me say that, they would be shocked because they tell me that I go overboard with stats.

I say this sternly, gritting my teeth, with a snarl. And I’m saying it out loud, so that I’ve actually said it.

@17 is Ainge still a genius for hoarding picks if his roster then bleeds the quality players he’s picked?

Melo will be Melo and the Knicks will be responsible for not giving him the support team he needs to succeed.

RJ Hunter was the 28th pick in the 2015 draft, so I doubt he has shot bad from 3 for a few years. He didn’t get much PT last year…
This kid can flat out shoot from anywhere. I really think in a couple of years we will wonder how a team could possibly have waived him. Come on Phil grab him now!

Sorry, he can’t flat out shoot from anywhere. He never shot above 40% from 3 in college and was a god awful 30.5% from beyond the arc his last season in school. He then shot 30.2% from 3 in limited minutes last season on a team that was desperate for outside shooting.

Ron Baker is a better shooter than Hunter.

I think Melo will not be better than previous years for the sole fact that 32 yo players usually don’t get better.

Don’t get me wrong. I would love see any kind of improvement from him.

But the odds are that he will be entering his declining years.

“Shooting percentages have never been an important thing to me,” Carlisle said, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “I look much more at the process, the force, and conviction with which guys are stepping into shots.”

That’s some Dusty Baker ass shit right there. Wouldn’t want to clog the basket with made shots.

I think Melo will not be better than previous years for the sole fact that 32 yo players usually don’t get better.

This is kind of how I feel. I could see him having a bit of a rebound– WS48 in the .140 range, TS% in the .540’s, something like that. I don’t expect him to return to his absolute peak, which is something like a .180 WS48 and a .560 TS%.

Sorry, he can’t flat out shoot from anywhere. He never shot above 40% from 3 in college and was a god awful 30.5% from beyond the arc his last season in school. He then shot 30.2% from 3 in limited minutes last season on a team that was desperate for outside shooting.

Ron Baker is a better shooter than Hunter.

He also had a 48 ts% and 11.8 PER in the D-League — the D-League!

Seriously how does this guy even make the NBA? He probably couldn’t even make the Gotham Ballers.

I’d say given his age the odds of Melo truly improving are low. I seriously doubt we ever get another MVP-candidate level season from Melo. That said, I do think he has a good chance to decline gracefully and if his role is scaled down a bit I think he has a good chance to put up some good numbers and be a very valuable player for at least a couple more years. To me on a team full of uncertainty, Melo feels like the known quantity.

This kid can flat out shoot from anywhere. I really think in a couple of years we will wonder how a team could possibly have waived him. Come on Phil grab him now!

RJ Hunter shot .354 from 3PT across three seasons in the not-so-prestigious Sun Belt Conference. He has zero ability to create his own shot, and he is slow and unathletic, so he’s not even good at getting open when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands. Not an NBA prospect in my opinion.

GP2 should be an immediate pickup, he’s a big, raw, athletic pg who plays good defense. He was projected to be one of the better values in the draft given his pick position, despite the need to work on his skills.. Cut Plumlee now, Phil.

@22 and @27 You got me there, I never really checked the stats, its just every time I have seen him shoot, he has looked good. Sorry guys eye-test f*cked me up 😉
Phil stay away from this guy, please!

I’d love to take a flyer on Payton II. It’s not exactly unlikely that someone who isn’t Derrick Rose or Brandon Jennings is gonna have to play a lot of point guard for us.

I’m not sure how relevant last year’s stats are to a player who will be playing in a new system, for a new coach and with an almost completely different team. Unless I’m forgetting someone, aside from KP and Lance Thomas, none of the players who figure to be in our top 8-9 man rotation were here last season.

All of the dour predictions could very well come true, but if there were ever a year that merits a wait-and-see approach, this would be it.

I’m not sure how relevant last year’s stats are to a player who will be playing in a new system, for a new coach and with an almost completely different team.

Historically, previous stats are a lot more telling/predictive than the other factors you listed.

Gary Payton II is intriguing because of his defensive ability: he is a ball hawk. He was DPOY in the Pac 12 two years in a row, so he has some of his dad’s defensive chops. He’s a guy I could definitely see carving out a niche in the NBA as a defensive specialist– he has all the physicality and instincts you want from a guard on defense.

Gary Payton II is intriguing because of his defensive ability: he is a ball hawk. He was DPOY in the Pac 12 two years in a row, so he has some of his dad’s defensive chops. He’s a guy I could definitely see carving out a niche in the NBA as a defensive specialist– he has all the physicality and instincts you want from a guard on defense.

I think NBA progeny are a decent bet. The kid’s dad knew how to play.

I think NBA progeny are a decent bet. The kid’s dad knew how to play.

And yet, our Tim Hardaway…

THJ was actually not bad in 800 minutes with ATL last year. He’s very one-dimensional but he did put up a .521 eFG% and .563 TS% last year, with a low turnover rate. That has some value.

Phoenix released Archie Goodwin. Kick the tires?

He’s intriguing to me with his physical tools. Has stuggled alot in the league though

I’d take GP2 over Goodwin. They both have great physical stats, but Goodwin has three years of bad play under his belt–GP2 is actually slightly older than Goodwin but he’s less of a known quantity so I’ll take the lotto ticket. Plus he’s guaranteed to be a good defender, which is a valuable niche to fill, as Tony Allen’s career has made clear.

We are too good to pick up other people’s scraps. We have so much talent that we had to cut the terrific Chasson Randle so we sure aren’t picking up any of these scrubs. Those days are over.

I have a feeling Melo is going to have a real problem keeping up this NBA season. Dude looked tired as hell in Hornacek’s up tempo system in the preseason games by 3rd quarter. Either Horny will have to cut his minutes or he’ll have to take it easier on the defensive end to compensate.

We are too good to pick up other people’s scraps.

Although, of course if the Knicks did pick up any of those “scraps” they would instantly transform into great players, because they would then play for the Knicks and all players who play for the Knicks are amazing.

Of course. Some of you are starting to catch on.

Now are you going to apologize to DRose for castigating him for months and calling him a rapist?
Will you be cheering for him tomorrow night?

Now are you going to apologize to DRose for castigating him for months and calling him a rapist?

I didn’t call him a rapist so blow it out your ass. I reserve my right to “castigate” him for being a washed up player and an ignorant creep.

Will you be cheering for him tomorrow night?

Yes, I will. Until he inevitably starts to suck, at which point I will begin cursing him out. But until then, yeah, I’ll be cheering!

For you RJ Hunter fans

Ron Hunter said other NBA teams had already reached out to express their interest in signing his son.

The Goodwin guys was waived by Phoenix. I think a number of players waived are better than our prospects. Hunter and Goodwin are former first round picks and could be a good prospect.

gp2 was the better prospect out of hunter and goodwin.. even though they were first rd picks and he went undrafted… he definitely deserves a roster spot somewhere…

We have four guys who were all undrafted and have never played a single minute in the NBA (Baker, Kuzminskas, Plumlee, Ndour), another who was undrafted and hasn’t exactly set the world on fire (Holiday), and on top of all of that we employ Sasha Vujacic. Regardless of what you think about any of those guys, are we really in position to be all sanctimonious about signing potentially productive players waived by other teams?

I truly hope the new CBA allows for teams to have at least a practice squad kinda thing where you can stash development projects on your D League roster. We should be able to sign Prigioni (who will sign in Cleveland) and alternate Plumlee or N’Dour down to the D League roster

I’m generally fine with the current system, maybe a bit more protection for teams, but I feel that teams shouldn’t be able to hoard NBA-level talent, keeping kids from playing and making money. As it is, there are two guys who are getting paid for not suiting up every night, and two or three getting paid for not playing. If a player is good enough to make an NBA roster, he should have an opportunity. If you don’t think he is, let other teams have at him

Fuck what I said sign Prigs to the max

Love the man

Jeremy Evans also got waived…

I’d actually sign GP2 and drop Plumlee but I wouldn’t mind seeing Evans or Prigs on the team. Especially Prigs for Nostalgia.

It’s hard to drop a guy you know for an unknown quantity, regardless of the unknown’s draft pedigree. This roster has been through training camp and preseason together and there is obviously a degree of difficulty in learning the triangle, even if we’re moving away from it as our mandated system.

Prigioni is what, 40? I wish him well in his moped collecting.

I was excited about Goodwin til I saw his gruesome stats.

Evans was always an advanced stats hero in limited minutes. You could argue for him over NDour if you wanted to (or even Lance Thomas who just isn’t great) but it’s not worth cutting Ron for either of the guards, just based on hair alone.

You kind of need Plumlee or someone like him for big insurance.

THJ was actually not bad in 800 minutes with ATL last year. He’s very one-dimensional but he did put up a .521 eFG% and .563 TS% last year, with a low turnover rate. That has some value.

I would assume the players he guarded put up a TS% of about .700, but that’s just a guess.

Makes sense. When the team is at full health, Plumlee and Ndour are the two least likely to play. Wouldn’t be surprised if both spend a lot of time in Westchester.

I haven’t seen a name on the wire that moves the needle for me. I would rather have the kids. And I like these kids. I want to see more of them and vote to give the current 15 players a few weeks before we discard them.

People who are complaining about Goodwins stats are crazy. I think he’s younger than Jerian Grant and has wayyyy more athletic and filled with more upside

Player A
~1100 minutes
.498 TS%
.444 eFG%
23.2 USG%
16.5 TOV%
.004 WS48

Player B
~2000 minutes
.479 TS%
.448 eFG%
27.3 USG%
13.4 TOV%
.009 WS48

Pretty similar players, no?

Player B did have a higher assist rate, 25.5 to 17.2, so he has that going for him.
Player A makes up the difference though with his edge in TS%, which comes from his far superior free throw rate– .457 to .171.

Player A is the recently waived Archie Goodwin.
Player B is Derrick Rose.

i haven’t exactly seen goodwin play much…. but his statline isn’t all that bad…. he has a great ftr rate and the athleticism markers makes it seem that he does belong athletically…

but even those are just kind of average… it’s clear he overrates his own ability since he shoots way too much for someone who can’t shoot… . and from reports of his bad attitude and the fact that he hasn’t made progress in any part of his game after 3 years.. it probably means he never gets there…

Anyone want to talk about how the 4 USG points between Goodwin and Rose are indicative that Rose is the superior player? I’ve missed the whole “high usage players make everyone around them better” meme.

Thank god the season starts tomorrow….there are people who are saying thatGoodwin is better than Rose…..oy

You do realize the Rose numbers are from last season, don’t you? His MVP season numbers were just a touch better, TS% 55.0, EFG .485, USG% 32.2, TOV% 13.1, WS/548 .208, AST% 38.7. As they were the following season: TS% .532, EFG .473, USG% 30.5, TOV% 12.9, WS/48 .211, AST % 40.3. His FT rates were .348 and .344. That has been from .171 to .224 since. I think we wall know he was MVP in 2010-211 and had the major injury in 2011-2012. As a frame of reference 2011-2012 was “Linsanity” season, so a long time ago in NBA terms. Anyway let the season begin.

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