Former Knicks’ guard and current TV analyst for MSG, Walt “Clyde” Frazier, had some opinions to lend about the current state of the New York Knicks and one of those opinions involves Carmelo Anthony becoming more like LeBron James.
The belief is that Carmelo needs to become more of a two-way player, or a jack of all trades, much like LeBron James has been in Miami, or even back to his days with the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron simply does it all. He’s a threat from various spots on the offensive end and he also gets it done on defense, something Carmelo Anthony has been publicly crucified for not doing his entire NBA career.
“They better forget last year and do whatever it takes,” Frazier said of Anthony and Stoudemire. “They have to look at Miami and what LeBron James was able to do, Carmelo especially because James became the consummate player — defense, passing and whatever else it took for that team to get a championship.”
Walt has an interesting point about Anthony and expanding his game to become an impact player on both ends, but let’s be realistic here. Not every player has what it takes to play both ends with the same tenacity as players like LeBron James, or Kobe Bryant. Carmelo has the tools to play offense with the best of them, but I’m not sure how his game would react if he attempts to change things enough to completely reinvent his defensive prowess.
It’s clear that the Knicks need to become a better defensive team, and the additions of Jason Kidd and Ramon Felton should help, along with Tyson Chandler’s presence, set a new pace for defensive basketball in the Big Apple. We saw how things changed when Mike Woodson took the helm, but not enough to realistically compete for the NBA crown.
“He’s a communicator, and he can relate to the players,” speaking of Woodson. “What I noticed right away when he came in last year was that players were listening to him, especially Carmelo. He seemed to turn around his whole game.”
The Knickerbockers biggest issue may lie with Amar’e Stoudemire. He has to produce on both ends, even more so that Carmelo, because the Knicks faithful saw what Stoudemire is capable of during his first season with the Knicks in 2010. The fans want that, the franchise needs that type of play from their $90 man. Amar’e needs to step it up and do what’s best for the Knicks moving forward.
“What if Amar’e is better coming off the bench?” Frazier said. “Will he accept that role?”
Many analysts have dabbled in the theory of Amar’e coming off the bench, but nothing really seems to point in the direction of that actually coming into fruition on the court.