Not even a year away from the big Carmelo Anthony to NY trade, "Melo-Drama" is setting in in the Big Apple. I have to tip my hat to you guys - the way I have seen Anthony's game dissected on your boards (most tellingly after some bad losses) is spot on. Now, you've seen the good and the bad of 'Melo. What will happen from here?
I want to clear up one thing about 'Melo.
He is a winner. He just doesn't have that effort to do all of the little things all the time, like a Kobe - or even a Shane Battier or Udonis Haslem. He has flash, he has skill, but he doesn't have determination.
That doesn't mean he doesn't 'want' it bad enough. He just doesn't seize it, either for reasons of ego due to his own skill, or out of lack of effort and proper execution.
In any case, he is a brilliant offensive player who just doesn't happen to translate into a brilliant basketball player.
His game just isn't complete.
He has the stickiest hands in basketball, and the offense tends to stagnate when it runs through him. He isn't the worst teammate, but he is a bad floor leader and and extremely poor team defender.
He can make some wonderful defensive plays, but just seems to take other plays off and is frequently caught snoozing as his man beats him baseline off the ball or just reaches in while hedging out on pick and rolls.
He has an effect on a team's offense where he will take a few jumpers, and everyone else will tend to treat every trip down the court like 'Melo iso-mode.
The good news? New York will still make the playoffs.
'Melo plays much better when disrespected or his chips are down. As long as he doesn't get run out of NY by the fans and media, he will put the team on his back late in the season if he has to, squeaking into the 7th or 8th seed. But I expect you to round out higher, to six or possibly even five.
Your team is more talented than it is showing, and should get their act together at least somewhat by mid season.
'Melo is sure to have some HUGE games for you. There will certainly be games where some of the nastiness directed his way will recede.
However, get used to one thing: with 'Melo comes a drift towards nigh crippling mediocrity. Welcome to the limbo of the NBA upper-middle class salary burden hell, New York.