Carmelo Anthony expects to play power forward

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Carmelo Anthony has said he prefers playing small forward over power forward.

That has bothered many Knicks fans, because he has been better at power forward over an increasingly large sample.

Good news, New Yorkers.

Melo, via Ian Begley of ESPN:

“I’m pretty sure I’ll be at the 4; especially with the makeup of this team, I’m pretty sure I’ll be there,” he said. “…. The way that the game is going now those are the same positions. It really doesn’t matter at this point.”

I don’t see New York’s roster the same way. Besides Arron Afflalo, who will play on the wing when Melo slides to power forward?

Langston Galloway? Cleanthony Early? Sasha Vujacic? Lance Thomas? Thanasis Antetokounmpo? Wesley Saunders? Derrick Williams?

Galloway is the only one of that group who probably belongs in an NBA rotation, and he might be better at point guard.

But stretching the wing rotation to get Melo to power forward might pay off. Both the Knicks and Melo have consistently performed better with him at that position. Per 82games:

2014-15

Rating (offensive/defensive/net)

  • Small forward: 93.4/100.6/-7.2
  • Power forward: 108.4/102.6/+5.7

PER (Anthony/opponent/net)

  • Small forward: 20.5/11.6/+8.9
  • Power forward: 25.1/13.1/+12.0

2013-14

Rating (offensive/defensive/net)

  • Small forward:  96.3/ 95.8/+0.4
  • Power forward: 100.3/ 98.7/+1.6

PER (Anthony/opponent/net)

  • Small forward: 22.0 /13.7/+8.2
  • Power forward: 27.1 /14.8/+12.2

2012-13

Rating (offensive/defensive/net)

  • Small forward:  99.1/ 95.2/+3.9
  • Power forward: 101.7/ 95.8/+5.9

PER (Anthony/opponent/net)

  • Small forward: 21.8/12.8/+9.0
  • Power forward: 24.8/13.4/+11.4

2011-12

Rating (offensive/defensive/net)

  • Small forward: 96.5/96.0/+0.5
  • Power forward: 103.2/94.9/+8.3

PER (Anthony/opponent/net)

  • Small forward: 17.4/11.8/+5.6
  • Power forward: 29.5/12.8/+16.7

2010-11

Rating (offensive/defensive/net)

  • Small forward: 107.2/107.7/-0.5
  • Power forward: 113.6/97.2/+16.4

PER (Anthony/opponent/net)

  • Small forward: 22.7/15.4/+7.3
  • Power forward: 28.8/23.3/+5.5

The Knicks’ net rating with Melo at power forward has been better than with him at small forward all five seasons he’s played for the team. His individual PER difference has been better the last four years.

Phil Jackson should build a roster that frequently puts Melo at power forward. If these Knicks are better with Melo at small forward, that’s an indictment of the roster construction, not Melo’s ability to play power forward.