Lupica: Knicks need 'Melo to compete in East
The Knicks don't need Carmelo Anthony because they had a terrible game after a tough West Coast trip, because Sacramento's Samuel Dalembert swatted away enough of Amar'e Stoudemire's shots that Stoudemire lost his head long before the Knicks lost the game.
No. As fun and entertaining as the Knicks have been for most of this season, for all of the life they have put back into the Garden, the Knicks need Carmelo Anthony - who seems to want them as much as they want him - if they are going to build a team that can do what the Knicks of the '90s did, and that's beat Pat Riley's Miami Heat.
1. Didn't we just go through the wondering and comparing the impact of exchanging one major player for another (Lee or STAT)? Trying to figure out potential impact based on stats and projections and opportunity costs, risk -vs- reward?
You can never fully and truly know the impact a player has on a team because there are too many variables to consider as was the case when deciding what to do with David Lee last year. And I think its safe to say, with Amare it's like night and day.
Bottom line: Don't kid yourself, Melo is better than any wing player we have, alone or combined.
2. Do you realize teams make moves for three main purposes... to improve and possibly contend, to sell tickets, to save money.
Our rebuilding had nothing to do with selling tickets (unlike most teams we sell), and aside from getting more bang for your buck, we're not cash strapped, like other teams. So it's obvious we want the chip.
Bottom line: No one, from Knick fans to those in the organization has come this far for mediocrity in the form of one and done playoff appearances.
3. Just because we compete and are an improvement do you really think we can compete with the elite, over 7 games?
I bet you're saying "you never know". Well actually everyone knows not only do we have glaring needs but we have ambiguous underling issues too, such as our coaches approach that has led to our minimal use and improper valuing of size, and short rotations which has led to fatigue.
Bottom line: We're not quite there yet. Consider our record against winning teams, and the inevitable fatigue factor that increases as time goes by.
Don't you hate the mutually exclusive scenarios? It's Melo or big? That isn't the case at all is it? Now when we consider our coaches fickle taste in BIGS acquiring one isn't necessarily difficult from a dollar stand point as much as it's a style and ability issue (which history has proven we can acquire a big that MDA will play that isn't as expensive as to not allow us to sign Melo, see Earl Barron & Ronny Turiaf).
The biggest need for the Knicks continues to be a defensively gifted center. You can almost make an argument that the Knicks would improve by a greater margin by signing Kendrick Perkins in the offseason rather than Anthony since they are both unrestricted free agents. Perkins isn't a typical D'Antoni player...
And, who can ignore that last line about not being a typical MDA player?
Bottom line: In our quest for a chip, we are targeting Melo AND a Big!
1. We just lost out on acquiring one of the best players available, but did acquire at least one Allstar, wouldn't Melo make up for some of that?
2. Don't we want to make sure that if we don't get Melo at least NJ doesn't?
3. Nothing is guaranteed with or without a certain player... isn't the risk worth it? Don't we as fans deserve another star to form a bigger three than we have?
4. Hasn't Walsh earned the benefit of the doubt when speculating if he will mortgage our future or make a lopsided deal? Hasn't he shown enough patience and moxy to do what's best for the Knicks?
Don't let our success and increased competitiveness fool you. Yes we are a few games better, but still aren't championship worthy. Yes, we are more in the spotlight with the national games. And yes, we may even attract more than a few players claiming they want to be here but just use us to increase their contracts.
But remember how that came about... by sacrificing and acquiring a doubted Allstar. Also remember the ultimate goal.
To win a chip sooner than later, we need to be able to beat MIA, BOS, CHI, ORL, etc... who all got better and will be for the forseeable future. Yeah we could build young, get picks, develop over time etc...
but when we decided to go this route, to shed those contracts, and take a chance on an un-insurable max player... we pushed our chips to the middle of the table...
no turning back now.
The question isn't is Melo better than what we have (is STAT and Felton better than what we had?), it's not even is he worth a Wilson, Fields, or Gallo
no the real question is:
Considering our sacrifices, our 4 1/2 year window (2 years with Felton), our coaches contract (1 year remaining), our improvement, our competition, all of it...
CAN WE MAKE A RUN STARTING THIS YEAR?