Carmelo Anthony arrived on the NBA scene as a five-tool player. A decade later, he's pidgeon-holed himself as a volume shooter. This season was arguably, the most successful of his career, but at 29 years old, getting dispatched in the second round by the upstart Indiana Pacers rendered his progress moot.
It doesn't help that the calcified bones on the Knicks roster are getting older, while the Heat are hitting their stride and the Pacers have grown from an Eastern Conference fetus to a grown ass contender ahead of projections. Paul George is the star Anthony was supposed to be. He's not on the same level as Anthony the scorer, but George affects the game in different areas when his shot isn't falling.
After scoring 39 in the Knicks season-ending loss, Anthony has had enough. A source tells the New York Post, that Anthony would like for the Knicks to add another scorer in the offseason. It's a reasonable request, but if the Knicks follow through on taking the scoring load off of Anthony's shoulders, he'll have to expand his game and become a better passer, defender and rebounder. The Knicks roster was chocked full of one-dimensional players last season, but it starts with Anthony.
Anthony was the Knicks primary scorer and during the playoffs, the Pacers figured out how to defend him in isolation. In the Pacers series, Anthony averaged 28.5 points a game, which should have solidified him as an upper-tier NBA supernova. However, he gets downgraded to Pluto because of his inability to make his teammates better. On the flip side of his prodigious scoring averages, Anthony shot just 43 percent from the field, dished just 1.3 assists per game and couldn't create scoring opportunities when the Pacers turned their laser-like focus to Anthony.
Via New York Post:
According to a source, Anthony has told a confidant he is concerned management will stand pat this offseason and said he believes the team needs to add a bona fide secondary scorer for the Knicks to take the next step and win a championship.
The source said Anthony loves combo guard Iman Shumpert, 22, and projects him as a superstar, but not for two seasons. The source also said Anthony privately wishes the club will add a significant piece to the roster and not be status quo.
On a side note, I'm a little bullish on Iman Shumpert's potential, but if he does become a superstar in this league in two season's, hopefully he doesn't abandon his attentiveness on the defensive end the same way Anthony abandoned his versatility.
In the short-term, it's hard to imagine the Knicks being able to escape from their financial shackles and Amar'e Stoudemire's burdensome contract. The Knicks don't have many options, the front office is handicapped because of the $75 million they have committed to next season and adjustments to the new CBA, which probits teams over the luxury tax from making sign-and-trade deals. Free agency options are limited, aside from a two-guard like OJ Mayo, at the expense of J.R. Smith, but the Knicks may have to develop more organically. They can always go the traditional root, scout well and find another diamond in the rough. San Antonio's built the cheap way for years. It's produced two-thirds of their Big Three and a few championship rings. Money can't buy everything.