Checked your post about this in the other thread; was spot-on. This might get long, but....
STATisticals generally shows the defensive awareness and effort that is so base, we may as well have Nancy Reagan out there guarding the Kevin Love's of the world.
His rebounding is about as spotty as it gets, too.
However, let's note that before his leave, and despite the general disorder of the team, he actually was showing legitimate signs of improvement as a basketball player (vs the moniker of Amare The Offensive Weapon).
I fear that in this golden age of the NBA, even the excellence Amare could bestow to us from an offensive standpoint, isn't enough to make us enough of a world-beater; in light of the crimes he commits during crunch-time rebounding, defensive, and general decision making situations.
It's basically the antithesis of the type of play that won us last night's game -- from Chandler, right down to even Billy Walker making sound rebounding decisions and defensive switches.
It shames the entire team, and demotes our entire quality of play, when you have someone like Amare stinking it up so inexplicably and so horribly in big spots. Not too different than having someone like Toney D running our point is just a farce, and it's tough to breed a legitimate team when your gene pool is so polluted, in that sense.
Here's the thing: the NBA is lined with supremely talented all-stars, who were pretty soft and played shoddy D, only to get their **** together when the situation was primed and pressurized enough. See: Paul Pierce, Pau Gasol.
Unfortunately, those players more closely resembles the defensive foibles of Melo. Steve Nashed D's up opposing teams' front courts as well as Amare on many nights when they played together.
But Amare just rebounds and boxes, at least late in games, I think we'll be fine, because of the offensive boost we'll receive, and the superior flow that will result: in an offense as fast and well-oiled as I expect ours to now become, we should be able to dictate the overall flow of the game, and put opposing teams into uncomfortable situations where they won't be able to kick back and exploit Amare like some mastermind pedophile at a Toddlers & Tieras competition.
Additionally, the superior tempo and offense -- naturally suited for Amare -- should help his peripheral defensive impact (blocks, steals), and give him the comfort to at least have a shot at figuring his **** out when it comes to applying himself to the defensive -- and offensive -- flow of the game.
Amare just can not disgrace and shame himself, and the team, like he has. I believe he simply needs to exhibit a pretty basic commitment to making plays for rebounds, jumping, and boxing out.
Also, as good as Chandler is, he is good enough to be there and mitigate (to a degree) the moments were Amare really tards it up.
Finally, Melo's superior rebounding will help -- and what I think will be a great hunger to bring up his D, if not to simply give him a direct contrast to Amare from an ego and legacy standpoint.
You nailed it though: he must be called out, mercilessly. He can't be treated like a mentally handicapped 10th grader in a special ed P.E. class. D'antoni called out Melo, plainly but powerfully, on his commitment and understanding of "spacing". The same needs to be done for Amare and his D.