Apr 9 2012
Ever since the injury to Amar’e Stoudemire, coupled along with a prior injury to Jared Jeffries, the Knicks have been forced to play small ball in which Carmelo Anthony is playing the power forward (or the “4″) position. The biggest beneficiary of the recent infusion of small ball has been the much maligned Anthony. Playing the 4 has forced Anthony to play harder on defense, as well as helped his offense. Zach Lowe had a great take on Anthony’s defense over at “The Point Forward”. This post however, will analyze New York’s offensive advantage with Anthony playing power forward.
New York is 5-2 in the 7 games without the services of Amar’e Stoudemire. One of the, if not the, biggest reason for their success has been the revitalization of Carmelo Anthony’s offense. In the past 7 games, Anthony has averaged 29.8 points per game on 49% shooting, 39% from downtown. Anthony’s resurgence can be largely contributed to his playing the power forward position. Having Anthony play the 4 creates mismatches for not only Anthony, but it opens up the Knicks offense. By playing “small ball”, the Knicks force opponents to adjust their lineups and match-ups to slow down the Knicks and particularly Anthony.
Today, I bring you 4 plays that showcase some of the ways that small ball, built around Anthony at the 4, has helped the Knicks offense. More