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Pruiti, Mahoney: Mike D'Antoni and Carmelo Anthony will need to accommodate one another.

Sebastian Pruiti and Rob Mahoney are two of the internet's best basketall analysts, and they've each weighed in on how Carmelo Anthony (and company) will fit with Mike D'Antoni, Amar'e Stoudemire, and the preexisting Knick offense. Both of these pieces demand a full read (Bassy got the graphs and videos, Rob got the wordz), but here's a snippet from each.


If Mike D’Antoni wants to stick to his offensive system (and he has shown that he is stubborn in the past), I just don’t see Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire (and to a lesser extent Chauncey Billups) working out together on the court.  Anthony is extremely successful when posting up, but the Knicks don’t do that in their offense.  The Knicks can ISO him, but Stoudemire doesn’t really know how to play off of the basketball, and he has a tendency to shade the basketball.  I just don’t see how the Knicks can get Anthony to score efficiently the way they play right now.

All of this being said, D’Antoni could change his offensive system to incorporate more post-up opportunities (which not only suits Anthony’s game, but gives more post up chances for Amar’e Stoudemire who is 16th in terms of PPP when posting up).  If that happens and Billups changes his play, this could work out.


Perhaps Anthony and Billups will completely buy in to the Knicks’ offense, but it’s worth noting that both are isolation-driven players who have broken away from their head coach’s strategic decisions before to operate as they saw fit. Compliance should not be an assumption.

Ultimately, Anthony and Billups’s performance over the next few seasons will most likely depend on how far D’Antoni’s system can bend without breaking. It’s probable that New York will isolate more often throughout the remainder of the season than they had previously. It’s also possible that we might start to see more post-ups in the Knicks offense, as Anthony is a credible low block threat. Then again, maybe it’s also presumptive to think D’Antoni will so readily compromise his offense; he’s shown a reluctance throughout his coaching career thus far to alter his system significantly. All parties involved want this deal to work, but compromise is a necessity.

This, I think, is fair and valid skepticism. My hope is that either Pruiti is overestimating D'Antoni's stubbornness or Mahoney is overestimating Carmelo's (and Chauncey's) love of iso. After all, D'Antoni has never coached a scorer quite like Anthony, and Anthony's played for only one NBA coach. This really could work, but it's going to take some compromise.

Update: I meant to link to this Nate Silver piece as well. It's super smart.