Via Alan Hahn’s world-famous Knicks Fix:
“Even if he doesn’t take a shot in an entire game, the other team has to respect him,” Chandler said of what we’d call The Melo Effect. “They’re never going to leave him … A lot of the shots we got tonight came off his effort.”
While most media outlets will twist Melo’s 1 point performance into a story on whether he is bad for the team (NBA.com’s ”Should the Knicks trade Melo?” poll) or stubbornly not shooting to prove a point (NY media members during the Knicks post game), I took it as a big plus. Melo handled the questioning as well as any fan could ask for, responding about how the team had it going and how he wasn’t needed to shoot tonight. He even went as far to say that he needed a night like this, as one would assume it’s been tough for him piling up the aches and pains (without complaint) while carrying the load on a nightly basis.
What I saw in last night’s game was a player busting his butt for rebounds, while pushing the ball, and finding the hot hand on offense. As Tyson Chandler alluded to in the above comments, a lot of the shots they hit came off of Melo’s effort. Grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out 5 assists, Melo noticeably sprinted up the court after every missed shot by Charlotte. To me this was a superstar making adjustments to what the coach’s offense entails, after admitting to having good long talks with some of his teammates the past couple of days. For those thinking that last night’s game suddenly makes Anthony expendable, just remember how important his post-up/mid-range game will be in the slow it down, playoff style match-ups come April. Oh, and for all you statistic freaks out there. It doesn’t hurt he is the most clutch shooter boasting the highest FG% in the final 24 seconds of the game since the 1996-1997 season.