This isn't Denver and this isn't Carmelo's team. He wasn't supposed to come here with that same set of rules. This was him joining Amar'e Stoudemire, him -- in his own words -- getting away from being the player who had to score 30 every night. This was him looking to play on a bigger stage and play for a bigger purpose.Melo isn't used to it. He's a tremendous post player. That's his game. This isn't about just the system, this is about making the pieces fit and playing at both speeds. It's an adjustment and one where the team has to get on the same page. They are bipolar right now.
So before this goes any further, before Melo starts in with the stubbornness that the Nuggets dealt with all too often, the stuff that once made George Karl irate and now makes him chuckle, Amar'e Stoudemire -- let's say he's the Jeter to Melo's A-Rod -- spoke up after what the Knicks have to hope was the lowest point of the post-trade era, the inexcusable 99-95 loss here to the Pistons.
Stoudemire restaked his claim as the team leader and the voice of the franchise when he called on Mike D'Antoni to go back to the system the Knicks employed before the trade rather than continue on with this plodding, predictable halfcourt game that D'Antoni surrendered to when Anthony arrived.
"Absolutely, absolutely, that's the way we're going to win," Stoudemire said of the need to get back to the uptempo, pick-and-roll style. "That's the way we've proven that works with the team we had before the trade and it can work with the guys we have now. It's just a matter of us buying into it and really trying to understand that our ultimate goal is to make the playoffs and see what we can do."
In the end, it comes down to limiting second chances or wide open looks from mid-range players and that responsibility has to be put on Amar'e and the coach. Does Amar'e have to always guard the 5 in the fourth quarter?
Equally alarming may just be the play of Chauncey Billups, who hasn't been right since his leg injury.
Hahn does a great job of laying it down in fair and honest look at Anthony, who's attitude was on full display last night and Hahn says it best.The Knicks most certainly can lose in the 1st round without Melo. But this was about him coming here, wanting the spotlight and re-branding New York as winners. Not as losers.
The Knicks aren't on the same page and that has to change quickly come playoff time.