Carmelo Anthony understands it — the difference between the Bulls and Heat versus his Knicks is defense. Last season the Bulls and Heat were both top five in defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions), the Knicks were 23rd giving up seven more points per 100. That won’t get it done.
And ‘Melo is committed to change it. No, not just by watching Tyson Chandler do all the work, but by defending himself.
Stop laughing city of Denver. He means it. Here is what he told Newsday.
“I get tired of hearing we don’t play defense, I don’t play defense,” he said after the game. “I just wanted to get out there and do it. I just wanted to show it….”
Long before the arrival of Tyson Chandler, Anthony said the Knicks “can be a great defensive team” and put himself out in front of that mission.
“I’ll lead that charge,” he said in October. “I’ll take that stance . . . At the end of the day, we will be a great defensive team.”
The Knicks are not going to be the Heat or Bulls defensively, but they don’t need to be. They are going to score a lot with Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, New York just needs to play good defense and they are going to win a lot.
Tyson Chandler alone can raise the Knicks to an average defensive team, but it will take a full commitment like Anthony is talking about to do any better. Well, honestly it’s going to take some better defensive players on the roster to make more big strides, but if the attitude is right it will be a big step.
We’ll see how long it lasts.