The New York Knicks Game 4 loss was frustrating for obvious reasons. Who didn’t want to see the Knicks stand and take a bow in front of the Celtics home crowd after pulling off a sweep? The extra days of rest would have been nice, as it now appears the Pacers and Hawks are going to be engaged in a long series. Unfortunately, it didn’t occur as the Knicks fell just short in overtime despite the absence of JR Smith and let’s be honest…a very poor game from Carmelo Anthony.
Sunday was the type of game people will point to when criticizing Anthony and is the type of game people like Dan Shaughnessy will turn their Sports Illustrated For Kids stories in about. Yet, those complaints about Anthony will dissipate as the Knicks keep advancing rounds in this NBA Playoffs, starting when they put the Celtics to bed tomorrow night. Carmelo Anthony is who he is and he has been the best version of himself this season for the Knicks. If they want any chance of competing for a NBA Championship, Anthony shouldn’t a change a thing about how he’s been playing.
Ultimately when the Knicks are in close games and trying to pace with Heat in a hopefully inevitable Eastern Conference Finals, they need Anthony playing with the confidence of the best player on the court. They need him to have a short memory. They need him to have no conscience. The last thing they can afford is for him to play with any hesitancy or doubt.
Carmelo isn’t going to miss 25 shots in a game again any time soon. Sunday needs to be quickly pushed from his memory and he needs to keep on rolling, just like he did on the Knicks late season winning streak and just like he did in the first three games of this series.
Carmelo is Carmelo. He is a scorer, first and foremost. When he gets going, he can put the ball in the basket better than anybody in the NBA. This is what you signed up for when you traded for him and this what you need to ride in the playoffs.