By Ralph Guerrero @ralphguerrero
We are all very well aware of the playoff resume of New York Knicks superstar, Carmelo Anthony.
It is well known that he has failed to get out of the first round in all but 2 years of his career. As horrible as his post season record is, a deeper look at individual games shows that the Knicks may be in trouble tonight when they take on the Indiana Pacers.
Carmelo Anthony has put up gaudy numbers in the playoffs. In his post season career, he has averaged 25.4 points per game, 7.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Most players would take those numbers and run. In game 4′s specifically, his career numbers are actually even better. In 12 career game 4′s, Carmelo has scored 27.3 points per game, grabbed 8 rebounds and chipped in 3.4 assists.
Here is the rub that Melo “haters” will always point to. For all his personal success, for all the stats and numbers he pours into the box score, in those 12 games, he has a career record of 3-9.
Here is something else to keep in mind. In those 12 game 4′s, seven times Anthony’s teams have been down in the series 2-1. Of those seven times, he has a record of 1-6. Those two facts surely will not conjure visions of the Knicks making it do a date with Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals.
But of those seven games, Carmelo Anthony’s teams were only on the road for two of them. Meaning those teams did not have the home court advantage in the series. Then again, to completely diminish that fact, both games Anthony was on the road ended up in losses.
What does this mean? Does it point to a fore gone conclusion that the Knicks will lose tonight? Absolutely not. I’m a firm believer that past success or failure by completely different teams does not determine future success. The facts cannot be ignored, though.
We all know what needs to be improved upon for the Knicks to win. My ten year old son can explain it to you as well.
The offense has to play better. Carmelo needs to shoot the ball better, J.R. Smith needs to shoot the ball better. Raymond Felton cannot have the same terrible game that he had in game three. Jason Kidd cannot have the fear of God in his eyes when the ball is swung around the perimeter and ends up in his hands for an open three point attempt.
Tyson Chandler cannot make Roy Hibbert look like the second coming of Kareem. The Knicks cannot allow the Pacers to have more offensive rebounds then there are words in this column. Currently, that would be 455.
The Knicks have every opportunity to win this game and the series. They have not played two consecutive complete games yet in the playoffs. You could make a case that the Knicks have won despite themselves.
Make no mistake about it, tonight’s game is as close to a must win game as it gets. Carmelo has a chance to do something tonight that he has never done. He is down two games to one and on the road. He has never one in this situation. If the Knicks plan to give themselves and Knicks fans what they have wanted since the preseason, a date in the ECF with the Miami Heat. Tonight will go a long way toward making that fantasy a reality.