Melo forgets to show up for the playoffs

Writing about a top seed defeating a low seed isn’t exactly thrilling. While this series has had some drama, the simple fact is it ended just like everyone expected. We’ll do our due diligence though and wrap up the series and throw at least a few insults Melo’s way.

The Knicks leave their front court in the past

2012 New York Knicks Playoffs Round 1 Totals

Player Pos G MP WP48 WP PoP/48 PoP/G
Jerome Jordan 5.0 1 3.7 0.662 0.05 17.5 1.3
Mike Bibby 1.0 5 118.1 0.184 0.45 2.6 1.3
Toney Douglas 1.0 1 8.3 0.244 0.04 4.5 0.8
Landry Fields 2.4 5 115.0 0.082 0.20 -0.5 -0.3
Steve Novak 3.6 5 94.7 0.072 0.14 -0.8 -0.3
Jared Jeffries 4.3 5 33.7 0.027 0.02 -2.2 -0.3
Tyson Chandler 5.0 5 166.6 0.070 0.24 -0.9 -0.6
Josh Harrellson 4.5 4 24.9 -0.051 -0.03 -4.7 -0.6
Amare Stoudemire 4.3 4 139.0 0.051 0.15 -1.5 -1.1
Baron Davis 1.0 4 97.4 -0.096 -0.19 -6.1 -3.1
Carmelo Anthony 3.3 5 204.1 -0.023 -0.10 -3.8 -3.2
Iman Shumpert 1.5 1 19.3 -0.209 -0.08 -9.6 -3.9
J.R. Smith 2.0 5 175.1 -0.186 -0.68 -8.9 -6.5
Total 5 1200 0.008 0.21 -14.1 -14.1

As always, to try and get a handle on the Knicks playoffs hopes we’d want to look at the top six of their roster. Let’s take quick rundown of the Knicks top players courtesy of the NBA Geek

Player Pos GP MP WP48 Wins
Tyson Chandler C 62 2061 0.311 13.34
Landry Fields SG 66 1894 0.170 6.71
Carmelo Anthony SF 55 1876 0.104 4.05
Steve Novak PF 54 1020 0.143 3.04
Jeremy Lin PG 35 940 0.131 2.56
J.R. Smith SF 35 967 0.108 2.19
Jared Jeffries PF 39 729 0.124 1.88

The Knicks top six consisted of an amazing Tyson Chandler, a very good Landry Fields, an average Melo, and an assortment of above average role players. Of course, Jeremy Lin managed to have a hot streak for the Knicks before getting injured. In the playoffs there were a few problems:

The Knicks had no point guard. Behind Lin the Knicks had nothing. Mike Bibby and Baron Davis both got major minutes. Bibby did indeed surprise a few people, but this was not a good recipe for success.

Amare came back. Amare has not been good in a while. Playing Melo at the 4 (which seemed to work well during Amare’s injury) or giving Jeffries or Novak more time seemed like a good idea. Instead the Knicks moved Melo back to the three, where Bron shuts down everyone, and left Jeffries on the bench.

The Knicks stars were mediocre The players pulling the Knicks this season have been Fields and Chandler. Fields has been up and down and against Dwyane Wade and LeBron James he did not play at a top level, which might be understandable. But Chandler not showing up is surprising. The Heat’s one weakness is supposed to be a lack of a legitimate big and Chandler wasn’t able to exploit that.

The former Nuggets didn’t show Melo and J.R. are filled to the brim with talent. Their problem, as Dan Filowitz has keenly observed, is their decision making skills. Sadly, the talented players did not show up and J.R. and Melo were two of the worst players for the Knicks.

Be afraid of the Heat

2012 Miami Heat Playoff Round 1 Totals

Player Pos G MP WP48 WP PoP/48 PoP/G
LeBron James 3.6 5 189.2 0.225 0.89 3.9 3.1
Dwyane Wade 1.8 5 179.4 0.215 0.80 3.6 2.7
Mario Chalmers 1.0 5 179.9 0.200 0.75 3.1 2.4
Mike Miller 2.5 5 116.0 0.234 0.56 4.2 2.0
Shane Battier 2.7 5 138.2 0.191 0.55 2.9 1.7
Chris Bosh 4.9 5 166.8 0.178 0.62 2.5 1.7
Joel Anthony 5.0 5 85.0 0.170 0.30 2.2 0.8
James Jones 2.5 4 19.8 0.245 0.10 4.5 0.5
Udonis Haslem 4.0 5 95.2 0.110 0.22 0.4 0.1
Norris Cole 1.0 3 18.1 0.060 0.02 -1.2 -0.2
Ronny Turiaf 5.0 1 7.2 0.043 0.01 -1.7 -0.3
Juwan Howard 4.0 1 5.2 -0.624 -0.07 -22.5 -2.4
Total 5 1200 0.190 4.76 14.2 14.2

With top Chicago Bulls dropping like victims in a horror film, the East seems to be merely a warm up to the Heat returning to the finals. There’s not too much surprising about this. For Heats fans in a gloating mood, let’s go down the list though.

Having the MVP in the playoffs is a good thing LeBron is the league MVP. Having that kind of player on your team in the playoffs is huge. His first series was up and down, but he’s already recorded one of the top games of the playoffs, leaving the Heat in a good spot.

Chris Bosh may be back Bosh’s play was iffy this season, but he played rather well in this series against one of the top centers in the league. If he keeps up his great play, the Heat may be unstoppable.

The Heat finally have health to their role players Few realize just how good the Heat could have been last season if not for injuries. Heading into the playoffs Haslem, Miller and Battier seem to be doing fine and that’s huge.

Chalmers has matured and Cole is on the bench Chalmers growth has been bumpy but this season he’s finally been playing well. Cole has been one of the few sore spots on this otherwise fantastic team. Luckily, Chalmers has kept it up and Cole has been left on the bench.

Summing up

In the battle between Melo and Bron, Bron took this easily. The Knicks got to end their drought of playoff wins at least, which had been going on for over a decade. The Knicks have bigger problems with which players will be able to come back next season and which will stick around. As for the Heat, we’ll just have to see if they’re for real when they take on the Pacers

-Dre

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