Disturbing Trend

Yo people.

I only was only able to watch the overtime last night, and here is what I noticed:

First, Tyson won the tip, further proving that he's way awesomer than Brook Lopez. In fact, he almost launched the tip off the court. Ray retrieved it, and dribbled up the court. He ran a pick and roll with Tyson, threaded a nice pass, and Tyson dunked. The Knicks scored the oft-critical first basket of overtime.

On the other end, the Nets went to Lopez. Chandler appeared to be playing him very well, but suddenly he got into the lane and was surprisingly unperturbed as he scored. Tie game again.

Then, Ray dribbled down, drove into the paint, backed out a little, and launched a fadeaway rainbow, that, I'd later learn, was his 72nd missed shot of the game. I just thought Ray just got a little lazy out there, and was tired of trying to get the Knicks a good shot, and tried to take a shortcut by just hitting a shot himself. It didn't go in, and the Nets were able to score again.

Next time down, Ray was even more tired, and he was like, "Yo Melo, can you just put this thing in the basket?" and Melo was like "Aight, Ray, I got this" but then Melo was too tired to actually drive into the paint, and the idea of having to shoot more than once to get 3 points seemed like too much of a hassle to him, so he pulled up for an off balance 3 that boinged out. Then the Nets got that Stackhouse 3, and the Knicks were in trouble.

After a time out, The Knicks got an open shot for Novak and he missed it. It was a good play but the shot just didn't go. Later, on the possession that would really represent the Knicks last chance, Melo found himself guarded by Brook Lopez. He smartly drove all the way into the basket but the layup attempt was either tipped or just badly executed by an exhausted Melo. But again, it was not a bad drive and shot given the mismatch.

That drive and the Novak shot were good possessions, but even good possessions sometimes don't result in points. The Raynbow shot and Melo's forced three were not good possessions.

And you can't waste possessions if you want to beat good teams consistently.

This, I think, is part of the problem with teams that have Melo on them (currently, only the Knicks, strangely enough). Melo is a fierce competitor that wants to win and can score over any defender. And he doesn't fear taking the team on his shoulders for the big shot. That's admirable, but it creates a temptation for the point guard, the coach, and anyone else out there to just dump it to Melo, and when guys are fatigued, that happens more than it should. The Knicks had two consecutive poor possessions in overtime and it sealed their doom.

I've seen a little too much of this kind of thing in the last few games. Jason Kidd is really good at not giving into the temptation and calmly executing a good possession. I thought that Ray, when he was here in 2010, exhibited that quality, but I've seen a little too much 'dump it to Melo when I'm too fatigued to figure out what to do'. Actually, this tends to happen with every point guard Melo plays with. The answer is for Melo himself to understand that the best thing for the team is to run their offense when the game is on the line, and get a good position. Even though Melo knows he can bail a team out, and is willing to do so, I want to see him tell Ray to keep running the offense.

I also want to see Ray avoid the temptation of giving it to Kidd for leadership in tight moments. Kidd's great at that, but Kidd's 39, and Ray, you have to start doing that yourself.

Jason Kidd and Carmelo Anthony are tough, smart, professional basketball players. But to Ray Felton, they are like delicious cupcakes. Ray, avoid those cupcakes before dinner, keep your trim physique and your title hopes alive.

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