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Monday, February 25, 2013
Grantland weighs in on the Knicks

By ESPNNewYork.com staff

Grantland's Charlie Pierce checks in from Knicks-Sixers and offers up a dose of typically pointed criticism -- and praise:

They're a strange, motley bunch at first glance. There are seven players on the roster with more than 10 years in the league, and three with more than 15, including Kidd, who's closing in on his second decade. There are players born under the administrations of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. (For his part, Kidd was a Nixon baby, born a few days after one of the Watergate burglars wrote a letter to the judge in which he talked about hush money.) Their leading scorer is Carmelo Anthony, who is dead in the middle of his prime; with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, he's part of the great triumvirate that came into the league at the same time. He can be an unstoppable scorer — 29 points Sunday night, including 16 of 18 from the line. The Knicks kept isolating him at the top of the key against Thaddeus Young, and this was the equivalent of ringing the dinner bell. He also is a maddeningly apathetic defender, and there is a radius of unlikability around him on the court that's hard to dismiss. There's the smirk. There's the passivity when his team doesn't have the ball. And there are those moments when Melo tends to harsh the general mellow in unnecessary ways. Tangled up with Philadelphia center Spencer Hawes in the third quarter Sunday night, with his team up by a solid 14 points, Anthony swatted Hawes in the back of the head. Hawes went at him, and then New York's Tyson Chandler went at Hawes, and a lot of woofing and flexing ensued to no great purpose. There was no point in caring about Anthony for the rest of the night.



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