Well after doing something a lot of us don't want to do which is doing research on our coach, i have found that he has drastically changed his offense into something that is not what he has done in the past and he really is trying to create a new found mold of his old system to fit the players that are on our team. So now he has to almost create an offense from the ground up to adjust to Melo and Stat but the problem is not the plays but the lack of spacing and room for our 2 stars to operate.
I have looked up Steve Nash Pick And Roll tape and found that it seems so easy for him to make passes out of reading the defense off of the roll. In Phoenix the Suns had a plethora of sharpshooters and stretch 5's and 4's who were matched up against traditional big men. Amar'e and Nash's Pick And Roll was basically a game of 2 on 2 and each player had to quickly analyze the situation which either meant an over commit on Nash or Stoudemire which led to either a jumper or drive for Nash or a dunk or jumper for Amar'e.
With Tyson Chandler, Carmelo, Fields, Shumpert and Jeffries as our unit, we are nothing like Phoenix in terms of spacing and shooting. It also helped that Amar'e could go 1-1 with almost every center and dominate them since the more athletic big men had to stay on the stretch 4 which was Shawn Marion or Diaw.
With our unit Amar'e has no space for cuts to the basket and cant attack the basket without 3 jersey's their every time. He cannot create his own offense without a clear lane to the basket because as a Face Up Big man you need to either shoot or drive. Well now big men play aggressive on Amar'e knowing their is plenty help behind them and he has few opportunities for easy looks at the basket. Now this eliminates Amar'e driving lanes and he rarely see's opportunities to attack the basket and now forces his shots.
Our unit cannot run the Pick And Roll unless it is with Tyson Chandler since If they help we have decent shooters but most of all Amar'e will knock down the midrange jumper 7/10 times. But when Amar'e rolls to the basket the other big can basically forget about Tyson Chandler and drop down to clog the cutting lane and help on the cutting Amar'e.
Look at Phoenix and look at how much space on the floor Nash and Co. got to work with and the consequences of helping on the Pick And Roll:
The defense was basically at the mercy of Phoenix offense since you would get burned for helping by the 3 ball or if you stopped the roll to the basket than Amar'e would stop and pop from mid range for an easy jumper or you would leave the greatest shooter ever wide open or a lane to the basket.
Look at how easy it is for Amar'e to score in Phoenix, he was Unguardable and in Rhythm & on the move all the time, all he was doing was cutting, running, and popping jumpers-not far from what he does now, just that now he gets none of the looks he gets in this video:
D'antoni success relies on spacing and shooting and this team can't provide neither which leads to our stars trying to create out of nothing most of the time. The first half of the Boston game showed that if we run we will get trailing players easy open shots or Alley's for the runners as this is the only time we can space the floor since the defense is not set and must make quick decisions.
Amar'e is being forced to play a way he has never played before which is creating from Difficult situations. Amar'e summed up is a excellent finisher and good jump shooter, nothing more nothing less, and if we cannot get him in his sweet spots or in better situations to score then no matter how long it takes or how much time we have to "Gel" he will never succeed.
D'antoni explaining his Pick And Roll philosophy:
As he explained in the video, we need shooters to space the floor to give our PG options from the Pick. Well with our group it is either you find the cutting big man or nothing. In the video he says that Felton had the options of finding Gallo, Chandler, or fields for a 3 if the defense helped or take his own shot or find a cutting STAT for a dunk. Now with our squad you can take about 3 of those options out of the equation and its either Lin driving or shooting or maybe Chandler finishes at the rim or Amar'e open for a jumper.
Carmelo Anthony's Problem:
Now i will be the first to admit i thought Carmelo Anthony was an overrated offensive player, but after watching about 11 games on Youtube i have seen that his problem is simple yet very difficult to correct.
In Denver we all know Carmelo was basically a full time ISO player. Well the reason being was the SPACING that he got to do his damage. With Kenyon Martin And Nene the Nuggets had 2 decent mid range shooting bigmen that could hit open shots 4-6/10 times per night if left open. In NY Melo always has one lurking big waiting to help when he drives or a double coming from the guy guarding Landry Fields or Iman since they are not serious threats from deep. In Denver this never happened, He was basically on an island with his defender where he would win the battle 8/10 times. He could unleash his full arsenal of moves and did not have to worry about being trapped or helped on since he had Jr, Billups, Lawson and Afflalo behind the 3pt line.
One thing that is the fault of D'antoni is that Carmelo is put in stand still situations without movement. Carmelo is a In-rhythm scorer that is best scoring when he is on the move, Not in terms of coming off screens but Melo's shooting percentage goes down significantly when spotting up, Melo likes to be going towards or away from the basket to get his shots off. In our system in its current state Melo is either SPOTTING UP or shooting contested jumpers or driving only to meet help defense. Melo now has very few chances to score and must rely on hitting open jumpers or Lin finding him cutting or in transition. That's 3 ways he scores now which eliminates the other ways he can score which is Isolating, Posting up, Attacking the basket or off the Pick And Roll.
Melo has no driving lanes and looks like Michael Jordan in 1997 with all the shots he shoots from the mid range area since he cant bully his defender 1o1 into the paint and finish threw him or over him or break his man down with hesitations and dribble moves, when is the last time you seen Melo use his patented moves off the dribble or his arsenal of post moves? Now he gets blocked excessively from big men helping or misses because of highly contested shots. In Denver everything he did was on the move and not from a stand still but with our system he gets the ball in awkward situations and not given room to do what he does best, which is break his defender down 1 on 1.
This was because of Denver's Variation of the Dribble Drive offense that allowed Anthony almost 2/3 of the floor to go to work with against his defender and if help came or over committed then he will dish to the cutter or the shooters.
Bottom line is that Melo is not even playing in an offense that is catered to him which hasn't been the case his whole career. He is not given room to operate and is never in rhythm with his shots and cannot use his whole arsenal because of constant help and aggressiveness from his defender knowing someone behind him got his back. Amar'e and Melo have the same issues with their scoring which is Spacing And Rhythm Shots.
Until this is corrected no matter how much practice we have, they will never be as effective as we want them to be or how they used to be. These two guys have always been scorers on the move and with our offense they are basically given the ball and needs to score on 3 guys to get their points, they are not comfortable and are not given the right personnel to be at the top of their game and will occasionally have great games since they are stars and will find ways to scorer, but long term they will always be inconsistent until the offense is changed or the right players are added.
Few will read but i just had to research to see if it is just that Melo and Amar'e are having down years or are they just put in terrible situations. Sorry for the long read but the issue is difficult to get others to understand and must be broke down.