Thursday, October 24, 2013
Melo, Bargnani an eyesore on defense
By Ian Begley
Mike Woodson said earlier this week that he wants to take a longer look at Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani playing together at power forward and center.
Do you think he's seen enough at this point?
Bargnani and Anthony shared the floor for just over 11 minutes on Wednesday when no Knicks center was on the floor.
Carmelo Anthony scored 22 points (8-for-23) in the Knicks' loss to the Bucks on Wednesday.
The result wasn't very pretty.
The Knicks were outscored 33-22 in that span in a 105-95 loss to Milwaukee. The Bucks scored roughly three points per minute when Woodson paired Anthony and Bargnani together at power forward and center. They averaged about 2.2 points per minute when the Knicks had a traditional lineup on the floor.
If you take what happened on Wednesday and expand that to a per-36 minute basis, the Knicks would give up 108 points per 36 minutes with the Anthony-Bargnani pairing. With a traditional center on the floor, that number would drop to 79 points per 36 minutes.
The Knicks as a team struggled on defense against the Bucks. Milwaukee shot 52.2 percent from the field and hit 62.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Bargnani's struggles, though, stood out. The Knicks were outscored by 25 points in his 25 minutes on the floor.
Woodson also played Anthony and Bargnani at power forward and center together for extended minutes Oct. 17 against Washington. With those two on the floor and Tyson Chandler on the bench, the Knicks allowed Washington to score 30 points on shots within three feet of the basket.
Last season, they allowed an average of 39 points per game in the paint, which is not a perfect comparison, but shows you that 30 points is a large number.
To be sure, Woodson hasn't committed to playing Anthony and Bargnani at power forward and center during the regular season. It may be something he's just experimenting with in the preseason.
But, so far, the results on defense haven't been promising.
ROUGH SHOOTING NIGHT FOR MELO: Anthony struggled from the field on Wednesday, shooting 8-for-23. He had 22 points. He also had nine rebounds and seven assists. In addition, Anthony had a brief altercation with O.J. Mayo after being whistled for an offensive foul in the second quarter, setting the tone for a chippy preseason game.