Taylor’s All-NBA Teams



All-NBA Team discussions are always fun this time of year so I thought I’d chip in and put mine up here with a little bit of justification for each. Let me know if you agree/disagree with my selections.

First Team

G – Chris Paul

G – Russell Westbrook

F – LeBron James

F – Kevin Durant

C – Marc Gasol

The two spots for debate here are Westbrook’s guard spot and the center spot. Continue reading

Carmelo Anthony: Post Passer

Yes, the title of this post is correct. Post PASSER. We all know Carmelo Anthony can score in the post, he’s shot 5/10 from there so far this season. But in these first three games, all Knick victories, Anthony has shown prowess passing out of the post. Often times he has been doubled in the post and he’s shown the ability to almost seamlessly hit open guys. This is a skill that is often taken for granted. For example, Andrew Bynum wets his pants every time a double team comes to him and often turns the ball over. It makes sense though why Anthony has been excelling in this part of the game. We’ve seen him make great passes before, not a lot of them, but he’s made them. We know he can handle the ball. He has all the skills to do everything he needs to do out of the post, it is just a matter of decision making. Through the first three games, Anthony has made great decisions.  Continue reading

Anthony Would Benefit From Shooting Fewer Threes

Last season was one of the worst statistical seasons of Carmelo Anthony’s nine year career. There were many factors that attributed to his poor season such as feuding with the coach, various injuries and an early season experiment as a “point forward”. But for all the excuses made in Anthony’s favor, I think there is one factor that hasn’t been talked about enough.Across the board, Anthony’s scoring stats were down from what we are accustomed to seeing. Except for one statistic; his three point attempts. Last season, Anthony shot a career high in 3 point attempts, 3.7 attempts/game (3PA) and 3.9 per 36 minutes. He shot just 33.5% from downtown and is a 32.2% career shooter from outside the arc. I believe there is a direction correlation between Anthony’s 43% shooting last season, second lowest in his career, and the high volume of threes that he took. Continue reading

Carmelo Anthony Appears on Nurse Jackie

**Viewer discretion advised. There is some potty language in this**

Um… I’d be lying if I said I knew anything about Nurse Jackie. I had never seen nor heard of the show before Melo decided to be a guest star in it. From the video above, he’s a baseball player in some sort of rehab. He also has to “take a leak” at the end of the video.

For a more detailed description of the video, check out Ross Bernardt’s take over at CHARGED.fm

Analyzing Carmelo Anthony at the Power Forward Position

Ever since the injury to Amar’e Stoudemire, coupled along with a prior injury to Jared Jeffries, the Knicks have been forced to play small ball in which Carmelo Anthony is playing the power forward (or the “4”) position. The biggest beneficiary of the recent infusion of small ball has been the much maligned Anthony. Playing the 4 has forced Anthony to play harder on defense, as well as helped his offense. Zach Lowe had a great take on Anthony’s defense over at “The Point Forward”. This post however, will analyze New York’s offensive advantage with Anthony playing power forward.

New York is 5-2 in the 7 games without the services of Amar’e Stoudemire. One of the, if not the, biggest reason for their success has been the revitalization of Carmelo Anthony’s offense. In the past 7 games, Anthony has averaged 29.8 points per game on 49% shooting, 39% from downtown. Anthony’s resurgence can be largely contributed to his playing the power forward position. Having Anthony play the 4 creates mismatches for not only Anthony, but it opens up the Knicks offense. By playing “small ball”, the Knicks force opponents to adjust their lineups and match-ups to slow down the Knicks and particularly Anthony.

Today, I bring you 4 plays that showcase some of the ways that small ball, built around Anthony at the 4, has helped the Knicks offense.  Continue reading

A Bashing of Carmelo Anthony (Fanpost)

Yesterday, I posted a piece, written by my friends, that defended Carmelo Anthony. Shortly after, I received a rebuttal written by Keith Black (@therealkblack25). Here it is:

Here are the facts: It is Carmelo Anthony’s 9th season in the league.  He makes upwards of $18 million every year.  He nearly disgraced himself and acted selfishly in Denver to force his way to New York in time to sign a hefty extension.  He will turn 28 this year.  And he had to actively ask Mike Woodson to hold him accountable.

Yes, a man with nearly a decade of experience in the NBA with a maximum contract needs to be monitored like a 6-year-old boy.  How does a Melo fan rationalize that?  I am not making up that Carmelo Anthony did not try under Coach D’Antoni – he actively admitted it.  Where have we seen this sort of “I’m going to do what I want to do, and try when I feel like it” mentality in New York before?  Stephon Marbury.  Steph quit on Larry Brown and quit on Isiah Thomas – and yet always seemed to be absolved by the MSG faithful of any wrongdoing.  We ignored Steph crying his way out of Minnesota when KG got paid more than him, we ignored how willing the Nets and the Suns were to get rid of a guy that was supposed to be superstar.

It was never Steph’s fault.  Always everybody else’s.  How’s that for accountability?

And now we are seeing the same thing with Carmelo.

The fact that Carmelo lacks the self-motivation to actually give half of a crap on a defense reeks not only of the selfishness we saw from Steph, but of the selfishness we saw from Carmelo just over a year ago when he held the Denver Nuggets hostage to get a trade done.

Carmelo begged for this, he begged for the spotlight, he begged for the impatient nature of the New York media (really, guys, how many Knicks games have you really watched if you are begging for the media to show patience?).  And what did Carmelo do when he got here?

He quit.

He gave up.

He stomped his feet until a new coach came in to monitor him.  Like a child.

The fact that he needs monitoring, that he needs to be held accountable by some third party to actually give a damn is what is scary about Carmelo.  Not the missed shots – eventually they should start falling just by simple regression to the mean.  He is a professional athlete, an experienced one.  Why should he “need” a tough coach to play well?  If he’s the superstar worth the bounty that the Knicks paid for him, shouldn’t he be self motivated to actually care to win for the city he pushed to come to and he “grew up” in (I use the term “grew up” loosely – he moved away from New York at 8)?

I am sick of the excuses for Carmelo, just like I was sick of the excuses for Stephon Marbury.  Carmelo has now quit on two of his previous coaches, one of whom took shots at him the second he stepped on the plane to New York.  Eventually, we as fans have to realize: maybe the player is the problem, and not everybody else.

I want to believe Melo can turn it around, can get himself motivated, to want to be the superstar we all want him to be.  But right now, he seems to care more about himself than he does the mental health and chemistry of the other 14 guys on the floor.

 I wonder what the excuse will be when he quits on Mike Woodson.

A Defense of Carmelo Anthony (Fanpost)

Two of my friends, Scott McConnell (@scottmcconnell7) and Andy Joss (@andyjoss82) are loyal Melo lovers. They joint wrote this piece about defending Melo. It’s actually pretty good and pretty funny. I think you’ll all enjoy it.

Recently, there have been an abundance of anti-Melo sentiments emanating from the world’s most famous arena. Melo has been accused of being lazy, not playing defense, not sharing the ball, and even not trying. But we are here to defend the man who once brought such joy the people of New York.

When Melo arrived in Madison Square Garden, restored to the city in which he grew up, he was celebrated as royalty. Hailed as the messiah that would return the Knicks to the lofty heights that they once dwelled in familiarity. Once proclaimed by this very blogger to be the “best pure scorer in the league”, those talents still reside in Melo’s able body. The New York media and its faithful must learn patience with Melo, as they have time and time again showed this team throughout the past decade.

Like it or not, Melo is there for a purpose. And like or not, Melo will remain there for that purpose. The low blowing and finger blaming is an attitude worse than any act that Melo has committed. Let our message ring loud and clear: The New York Knicks need Melo to win a championship. Sure there may have been games where his effort looked lackluster, or his defense subpar. But Melo does know how to win a championship. Recall his freshman year at Syracuse and his magical run with the Orange to the championship. The media-created negativity that surrounds the Knicks star is the only true tumor to this team.

We would like to leave this blog with a simple plea: do not bash our star for things that he may or may not have done. Instead celebrate his talents and support him for the fact that the Knick nation will not reach its goal without him. Carmelo Anthony would not be here unless he wanted to be, and Melo will bring titles back to the Garden.
In conclusion, many people think that Melo is the hero that New York deserves, but not the one it needs right now. Fair or not, critics will attack Melo for his perceived shortcomings in those times when the Knicks struggle. That is the heavy baggage that comes with the label of superstar and the accompanying max contract. Whenever the team does not perform up to the high expectations laid out, it is Melo who must take the blame. The media will ravage Melo’s good name in an effort to assign blame for their beloved team’s shortcomings. They attack him, because he is strong, he can shoulder the blame.

Your Wednesday Melo Articles

Early Wednesday morning provided the Knick blogosphere on twitter with lots of material. Numerous articles from various New York sources surfaced. The common message was simple: Carmelo Anthony is the problem. Today is going to be a day in which the New York sports world roasts Carmelo Anthony, and deservedly so. Here is your guide to all the articles (I will post more as they surface).

Frank Isola, NY Daily News

Berman of the Post

Howard Beck, New York Times

Chris Broussard, ESPN New York

Alan Hahn interview on ESPN 1050 (from Tuesday 3/13)