When I look at the Sunday and Wednesday victories over the Atlanta Hawks and the Orlando Magic, I start to think where is this Knicks team? Now I realize what you are starting to think, what do you mean? We won didn’t we? Melo dropped 42 and 20 each again and it’s all okay. Well if you actually start looking at the numbers this team could be in a little bit of trouble in the sense that Sunday was an above average game for Melo, actually a superb game for Melo scoring 42 and yet we only won by 2.
For those of you who don’t pay attention to the numbers, on Sunday Melo scored 42 of the Knicks 106 points. That is about 40% of the Knicks score, when usually he scores about 30% of the Knicks score. Usually this doesn’t cause any alarm for a fan like myself, but then I look at the box score and notice Melo didn’t over shoot the ball. In fact he shot it less than average, yet scored an additional 10% than usual. What does that say to me? Other team members have to start helping out and we are going to see who they are.
TYSON CHANDLER/RAYMOND FELTON
Before anyone starts to over react on the point I’m trying to make here, let me start by saying I know Tyson’s job is not to score, but its to be a defensive anchor and to get offensive rebounds and therefore I don’t blame him necessarily for the lousy two-point offensive effort on Sunday as much as I blame Raymond Felton. Felton needs to get Chandler in as many pick-and-roll situations as possible to add an old/new dimension to the Knick offense. The pick-and-roll is a very hard offensive technique to stop and as we saw in the beginning of the year, Tyson and Raymond do in fact know how to work it almost to perfection.
As much as this pains me to say this… Steve Novak is a lousy player at this moment. He is a waste of valuable minutes most of the time and will be absolutely nothing to the Knicks come playoff time if he doesn’t step it up. Novak over the last four games, besides last night 8-point outburst (lol), has averaged 1 PPG, while averaging 14 MPG. That is a complete waste for the Knicks. I think Mike Woodson will have to design plays to get Novak open looks, because we know if he has an open look it will probably go down, but the problem is finding him that open look. If Steve doesn’t improve it may have to mean a decrease in minutes, because Chris Copeland is probably a better player than Novak at this moment? Yet over the last four games he has only gotten to see 8 MPG has scored 5.5PPG (benched in two of five last games).
Now other things need to improve like J.R.’s shot selection, Shumpert’s timing and Stoudemire’s explosiveness, but all of these players in the past games were very efficient, scoring 44 additional points for the Knicks in the Atlanta game (36 off the bench).
The Bottom line is simple, if other teammates like Steve Novak, Raymond and Chandler started contributing a little more, these victories over the Hawks and the Magic should be blowouts from start to finish.