In order for us to play like we did against Utah WITH Stoudemire and Melo back in the lineup, the following thingsare necessary imo:
- They both need to worry less about individual scoring. The target should be efficient and collective TEAM scoring. We need to get everybody involved on offense, this way we can get way more quality shots in general and as a side-effect everyone stays motivated.
- They both need to focus on defense, rebounding, passing and hustle plays WAY more than they are doing now. Jeffries played HARD on every posession against Utah, Chandler ALWAYS plays hard, Lin plays hard....Melo and Stoudemire really need to buy in and play hard aswell. A key rebound, a charge or a block/steal are often more important than just 2 more points on the scoreboard without defensive effort and hustle.
- They need to stop seeing themselves as great leaders, they haven't been leaders so far. Chandler should be the team's primary vocal leader and Melo and Stoudemire should buy in as lieutenants and see themselves as 'one of them' rather than 'the superstar who is surrounded by role players'.
- They need to play less minutes to stay healthy and sharp. Playing Melo 38-40 minutes each night ain't gonna cut it.
I think this team can be very good when we play EVERY ight like we did against Utah. I loved the hustle, effort and TEAMPLAY. I think it was the best Knicks performances in 10 years or so.
We should build on that and not fall back to the Melo/Stoudemire superstar bull**** where each of them launch 20-25 shots a game, shooting around 40% and wasting all their energy on offense = no defense, no hustle, no teamplay....our other players looking like scrubs.
I would be perfectly fine with Melo averaging around 16 ppg and Stoudemire around 15 ppg for the rest of the season, if that means our other players will get involved nearly as much as they did against Utah and EVEN MORE IMPORTANT: We play like we did against Utah (High energy, TEAMPLAY, DEFENSE, hustle and commitment).
In other words: They need to reinvent themselves.
Do I see it coming: Hell no
Am I hoping they would do it? Hell yeah!!!