The point is, and I've had a great conversation about this on Twitter today, it's wrong to typecast a star player. Carmelo Anthony is known for scoring and not so much for defense, but I saw plenty of defense from him last year in the playoffs. Word is he wants to win a ring. So please spare me this idea that he can't fit into an offensive system and he can't play defense. Yes, it's premature to talk about Melo and New York, but it's also premature to lose perspective after one great offensive game.
No one loves Wilson Chandler more than I do. I was the guy telling people to trade Balkman so the kid could play. Big East coaches were telling me about him before the Knicks drafted him. Everyone loved Balkman's hustle. Balkman is barely in the league anymore.
But let's get one thing straight, Chandler's ceiling is no where near Melo's. Melo repeatedly does what Will did last night. If you think Will is a better defender, maybe I'll give him the slight edge. But Melo is a special talent who knows how to put the ball in the basket in the fourth quarter. He can take pressure off of Amar'e and he can learn to be a better defender. He has the tools. He also knows how to do what he does while prepping his body for the playoffs, where he has played 45 games, despite only getting out of the 1st round once in 7 years. They have lost to the Spurs, the Lakers twice and the Jazz. They have also been tripped up by the Timberwolves and Clippers, in his earlier days.
Let's say Chandler and Gallinari reach their fulll potential. When will that be? Next year? The year after? Maybe Chandler is already there. He's a heck of a kid and a heck of a talent.
But he's not Melo. Melo and Amar'e don't lose to the Cavs on the road. They don't lose at home to Philly. And most importantly, they can at least compete against Orlando and Miami with Amar'e at the absolute top of his game.
Obviously the idea is to keep everyone, but that can't happen. But this much I know. This team, even with a tweek here and there, is not beating Miami, Orlando or Boston this year in a 7 game series unless each have significant injuries. They can scratch, claw and shoot their way into games and have a chance, but they won't win. Just like the early 90s Knicks against Airness and Sitting Bull Pippen, the Knicks lacked the talent despite how much you loved Starks and Mason.
This team is 20-14 and I love watching them grow and develop as much as the next fan. Last night was as impressive an offensive performance as you'll ever see. They can do that more consistently with a constant talent. Melo can most certainly fit into the style offensively and if he can't someone better teach him how to.
Talent is number one in this league. And star players who desperately want to win can transform. It's why they are stars.