SH Blog: The Melo Effect

Gerald Wallace got dressed, rubbed some lotion on his body, put his rosary beads around his neck and looked down for a few moments before speaking with reporters after Wednesday night’s loss.

“You’ve guarded Melo for three games now,” I said. “What do you have to say about the way he’s playing?”

“I don’t want to talk about Melo,” Wallace said.

OK, then.

After three games of pure domination – 37 points per game – against the Brooklyn Nets in the span of less than a month, who can blame Wallace for wanting to move on and forget about Anthony?

Flash back to Wednesday’s pregame warmups.

As Anthony tested his ankle to see whether or not he should play, he and reserve swingman James White had a shooting contest from around the 3-point arc.

“He’s cheating!” exclaimed White, who narrowly lost to Anthony. “He’s making up spots!”

“He wants to win everything and I think we all have that competitive edge,” White explained after New York’s impressive 100-86 win over Brooklyn. “If not, we couldn’t play. He was making up rules, doing all kinds of stuff. He just wants to win.”

The Knicks have won in large part to Melo’s competitive spirit and willingness to adjust his game to become even more effective than he has been in years past.

The Knicks are 19-6 overall and 2-2 without Anthony, who has been dominant in almost every aspect of scoring. He is averaging 28 points on 47.6 percent shooting, including nearly 46 percent from distance.

But it’s the way Anthony has diversified his game this season that’s helped him become more efficient. This excerpt from Justin Kubato of the New York Times:

“It is clear that Anthony was hurting his efficiency last season by taking too many long 2-pointers. Although he is still taking a lot of long-range shots this season (49 percent of his attempts), the distribution of those shots has radically changed: 43 percent are 2-pointers and 57 percent are 3-pointers.

“Not only is Anthony taking more 3-point shots, but he is also hitting them at a career-high clip. Entering the season, Anthony’s best 3-point field goal percentage was 37.8 percent (in 2010-11, with the Nuggets and the Knicks). But this season he is hitting 45.5 percent of his attempts from 3-point range.”

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