Monday, December 23, 2013

The roles of Carmelo Anthony & Jason Kidd in the sad state of New York basketball

Last year the New York Knicks finished 54-28.  Through one third of this season they are 9-18, almost a completely inverse record.  They have virtually the same roster, including Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Kenyon Martin, Iman Shumpert, and Amare Stoudemire.  Granted the Knicks have had more than their fair share of injuries, but they also expected to improve after adding Andrea Bargnani and Ron "please call me Metta World Peace" Artest.

New York has played 27 games so far, and Carmelo Anthony has been their top scorer in every single one of them; that's probably the first sign that they don't have a very good team.  To make matters worse (or better?) Anthony just sprained his ankle Monday night and may miss some time.  Last year they had seven different players lead the club in scoring at least once.

That team also led the NBA in threes (a huge part of their success), averaging 11 per game while shooting 38% from long range.  This season they are down to 8.9 per game and 35%.  The Knicks did lose two of their best three-point shooters from a year ago, Steve Novak and Jason Kidd.  Can that really be the difference?

There's also another team in New York that began the season with lofty goals and has stumbled to an identical 9-18 record.  Among other issues, the Brooklyn Nets have suffered through an embarrassing display of head coaching by none other than the very same Jason Kidd.  It's quit possible Kidd's transition from Knicks player to Nets coach has played a big part in sinking both NYC franchises.

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