All swagger, smiles and stats...
All scoring, inefficiency and shmoozing with opponents...
An all-star with a huge name who seems to have fallen in love with being an all-star, and forgot the Syracuse player whose hunger elevated his team to a national championship.
We play slower and less together when he's on the floor. Ball movement gets sluggish. Off the ball movement happens less. Defensive intensity comes more in waves when he's on the floor, than every possession. His assists are from iso's and pad stats and feed the delusion that he is a team player... but when he's not on the floor, we all see the difference.
Melo is crumbling under the bright lights of Broadway. He's been exposed by a relentless media and savvy fans. A great guy with joy for the game... but not the winner NY fans crave. No scowl. No hatred for losing like Kobe hates losing. No consistency like Duncan has been consistent.
Yesterdays game was the capper. A big, winnable game against Dallas and what does our Melo do? He gets caught up in a pissing, jawing contest with his opponent, and throws a lazy pass for a turnover. In the waning minutes of an awful loss, what's Melo doing? Sitting at the scorers counter, relaxed and having a laugh with the staff.
It's been over a year. It's been a million excuses. We're entering the stretch run and not seeing what we need to see from our #1 option. Peirce shows it. Dirk shows it. Wade shows it. Melo does not. Fans say more time is needed. There's been too much turnover with the roster. But sometimes the eye test is the best judge of all...
Skill is necessary, as is the talent Melo possesses... but there's just something missing. Trolls like the one I know I am being in this post get yelled at for excluding advanced stats, but if you watch all the games and see the way guys like Lin and Tyson and Novak and JJ inspire each other to play harder and more together... you can't overlook it.
Sorry guys. Sorry Melo. It's been THAT disappointing. It's not happening. There's enough evidence that Melo and Stat don't work together. There's enough evidence that Melo is not wired for playing under this much scrutiny. There's enough evidence that MDA and Melo don't mesh. Addition by subtraction should be our next move, and while we're most likely stuck with Melo and there's no point to such gratuitous trolling... I wanted to give those who share these sentiments a forum to express (well aware of the vitriol this post will most likely attract).
We've actually got a team capable of winning. Depth. Size. Athleticism. Shooting. Defense. PG's. Centers. Swing players. The only thing we're missing is, well, the absence of a name bigger than "The New York Knicks".