Problems in NBA Paradise: Carmelo Anthony Unhappy with Knicks?

| by David Berri

Well, that didn’t take long.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, some problems have already appeared with respect to Carmelo Anthony’s behavior in New York. Here is some of what Berman had to say about Melo.

Anthony’s pouty behavior in Friday night’s 99-95 loss to the Pistons, his bad oncourt body language, his failure to join a timeout huddle when not in the game has raised red flags about his readiness to handle the pressure for being a basketball star in New York.

…. Earlier this week, Anthony questioned the Knicks’ defensive schemes after the Indiana losses.

The Knicks have played 14 games with Carmelo Anthony, and the team’s record has only been 7-7. When we look at Wins Produced, though, the team appears a bit better than a 0.500 team.

Since the trade, the Knicks’ players have produced 7.5 wins, which translates into nearly 44 wins over an 82 game season. The source of these wins, though, may be surprising to those who see Melo and Amare Stoudemire as the star players on the Knicks. As the following table indicates, both Anthony and Stoudemire have been below average across the past 14 games (average WP48 – or Wins Produced per 48 minutes – is 0.100).

Although the “stars” have come up short, the guards on the team are saving the Knicks. Specifically, Landry Fields, Toney Douglas, and Chauncey Billups are producing 74% of the team’s wins since the trade. 

In looking at these numbers, one wonders if this trio should be pouting. After all, if Melo and Stoudemire were as good as people believed, this team – with Fields, Douglas, and Billups producing as we have seen — could already be a title contender.

Of course, Melo and Stoudemire are not quite as productive as their reputations suggest.They are also not quite as bad as their numbers after 14 games suggest. In other words, 14 games is a very small sample; so we should expect to see more production from the Knicks’ stars. And one should quickly note….we also should expect to see less from Douglass. Last season Douglas posted a 0.083 WP48.  And prior to this trade his WP48 mark was 0.085. These numbers suggest that Douglas is probably not as productive as he has appeared across the last 14 games.

Although 14 games is a small sample, we do have a larger sample from Melo’s career that allows us to conclude the following:

  • Carmelo Anthony is really not as productive as his scoring and corresponding reputation suggest.
  • The acquisition of Carmelo Anthony is not going to transform the Knicks into a contender.
  • That means the Knicks are not going to win as often as their fans and Carmelo Anthony will like.
  • But because both the fans and Melo think Anthony is  a star, neither the fans nor Melo will ever blame Anthony for the failure of this team to win as often as they would like.

And that means, expect to see Melo to continue to pout, his fans to make excuses, and other people (like Coach D’Antoni?) to eventually take the blame. 

- DJ