NEW YORK?Is it time to panic yet? Well if it is, it wouldn?t be out of the realm of the impossible. After all we are talking about New York: the media capital of the world and the place that brags to have the ?world?s most famous arena? and not to mention, the world?s most knowledgeable fans (of any sport). But with that being said, when or if there?s a losing streak of any magnitude, everything should stop short except for the heads that are rolling down the street with bloody shame. Conversely, when there?s a winning streak of any significance and the team is at or near first place in the standings (no matter how early or late in the season), people are making plans for a victory parade. That?s the nature of the beast of New York.
So when the blockbuster trade for Carmelo Anthony was finally complete after months of speculation, innuendo, conjecture and rumor, the fans and media went ga-ga over Melo and La La (that?s his wife, La La Vasquez) joining forces with Amare Stoudemire. But pure basketball fans realized that it takes more than one or two players to make a good team. And the fact that the Knicks gave up so many of their young core players that blended within the system, it would take time and growing pains to truly build a winner. Carmelo said after another loss to the Orlando Magic, ?Everybody needs to relax. I don?t think there?s any fun in the game right now.?
There will be louder whispers for Coach Mike D?Antoni?s job. He isn?t one to be known to stress defense in the way that championship teams should play. But if he?s the one brought in to coach, then players who totally buy into what?s being sold should be brought in. The confusing dynamic of this all is that the style in which D?Antoni runs on offense isn?t one that matches meshes well with NYC or with the players.
New York City is an Eastern Conference city; much like a broad shoulder city such as a Chicago, Boston and even a Philadelphia. The ?run and gun? and ?little defense? style doesn?t match. Games that end, 125-115 with the Knicks on the losing end turns the Garden into a funeral home and leaves fans scratching their heads.
It may be something of dread to just throw teams together with a bunch of superstars (see current version of the Miami Heat). In 2006, the Los Angeles Lakers tried such a stunt with Shaq, Kobe, Gary Payton and Karl Malone, all mega-stars in their own right. Sure, they made it all the way to the Finals, but then they were white-washed by the much star-less Detroit Pistons (led by current Knick Chauncey Billips) in five games and the experiment was cut short after internal fighting in the very next season.
It was a ?team first? mentality by the Pistons and everything worked to perfection much like the Denver Nuggets are clicking without Melo having gone 11-4 since the trade.
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