Contributed by guest blogger Frank Palmasani
It seemed like the perfect steal: Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire on the same team. They were two dominant players who succeeded at what they did, and all of New York saw it as the move that would pull them from their slump.
Well, we haven’t seen it yet. But is there still a chance?
Carmelo Anthony is an offensive powerhouse. While it’s true he often falters on defense occasionally don’t let it take away from what he brings to the court. And it isn’t like Anthony can’t play defense; it seems as though he chooses not to put it all on defense for the sake of his offense. Or maybe he’s lazy. Who knows?
He brings three point shooting, slashing, mid-range, and the pressure in the paint. Defenders dread his touches because, more often than not, it is going in. It’s his forte. When he made the move to the Knicks from Denver all the managers and coaches, scouts and fans knew exactly what he was bringing to the big apple; he was bringing what he did best: Offense. So is defense a large cause of why the Knicks have failed in the post season? Maybe, but his offense is mostly why he got there.
Regardless of what you’ve heard about Melo, he is still Melo. This up and coming season, he is going to be a lot to handle for whoever is unlucky enough to be his man-to-man. Whether that defender is Kobe or Meta World Peace, he’ll be in issue without a doubt.
Their offensive game is going to be the cornerstone of their season this year. With an elite, veteran point guard in Jason Kidd, a dominant big man in Amar’e Stoudemire, and an array of role players to fill the gaps, they will be as good offensively as any other team with the exception of a few all- star, player-to-player match ups such as Dwight Howard versus Amar’e Stoudemire.
Man, oh man, Dwight Howard and Amar’e Stoudemire on Christmas Day. What can we say about that match up? Well as Kobe has said while running amuck in London, “We actually might win on the Christmas for the first day ever.” Oh, Kobe. You are so right.
No analyst or fan will challenge the offensive and defensive capabilities of Amar’e Stoudemire, but no one at all can challenge Dwight Howard is the most dominant big man in the game today. When the Lakers and Knicks match up Christmas Day it’ll be a big man battle. You would be hard pressed to find a true, unbiased NBA fan that says Amar’e Stoudemire is the favorite in that matchup with a straight face.
However; matchups like Steve Nash head to head with Ex-Maverick Jason Kidd could lead to an exciting night of outstanding passes and clutch three-point shooting. Anthony matching up with Kobe with the game on the line would be an exciting Christmas gift for any basketball fan.
L.A. and New York won’t be matching up to many times this season, but when they do it’ll be an exciting game for sure. Most match ups will be neck and neck and will really challenge the defense of the Lakers. Will the Knicks have enough offensive game to win, or will their lack of defensive tenacity cost them the match up with both Lakers and other teams around the league?
Only time will tell.