NONE BETTER THAN MELO IN A BIG SPOTBy Jared Zwerling
In the past 10 years, which player has been the most clutch on potential go-ahead field goals in the last 10 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime?
The answer: Carmelo Anthony. He has the highest field goal percentage (50 percent) with a minimum of 20 field goal attempts (28).
That stat, to me, represents why the Knicks got the better player in Carmelo.
Although Deron Williams is smidge better in player efficiency rating (22.17 to 21.46), and although I won't discount how important a point guard is to a playoff contender, Carmelo is the kind of go-to guy you want in the postseason.
True, he's taken the Nuggets past the first round just once in seven seasons, but he never had a superstar big man to play alongside.
As good as Kobe Bryant is, he wouldn't have been able to win a chip without Shaquille O'Neal or Pau Gasol.
Carmelo is arguably the most versatile scorer in the league, more well-rounded than LeBron James. He can face up and shoot it from the outside -- he has a better jump shot than LeBron -- he can drive and is athletic enough to use acrobatics to finish, and he can post up. And he does it all with an array of aggressive, unpredictable, instinctual moves.
All told, Melo is a quicker version of Paul Pierce. And now that his skill sets will be teamed up with Amare Stoudemire, together they'll wreak a lot of offensive havoc -- more than what The Truth and Kevin Garnett bring in Boston.
Because Carmelo is such a good attacker from the perimeter, he'll create more close-range scoring opportunities for Amare.
And now that Melo has arrived, the Knicks won't need to do much persuasion to get Chris Paul to join the party.
I'd say the Knicks are looking pretty good.
D-WILL WORTH HIS WEIGHT IN GOLDBy Mike Mazzeo
Ask coaches everywhere, and you get the same answer: There is no more important player on a basketball team than the point guard. He's the facilitator, the guy who must figure out whether to shoot or pass.
When you look at today's NBA players, there may not be a better decision-maker than Deron Williams.
This season, he's averaging 21 points and close to 10 assists. He's also shooting almost 46 percent from the field and just less than 35 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. How many guys can say all that?
Although Carmelo Anthony is a phenomenal scorer, and probably the best rebounding small forward in the league, his impact will not be felt as much as Williams'.
Remember when the Nets were an awful, 26-win team in 2000-01? Probably not. But the reason they were able to make one of the greatest turnarounds in league history was they acquired a franchise-changing point guard by the name of Jason Kidd.
With Kidd running the show, the team went 52-30 in 2001-02, advancing all the way to the NBA Finals.
The Nets are hoping Williams can have a Kidd-like impact in the Garden State. And let's be honest, Williams is probably a better player than Kidd. Just think of the possibilities.
In the end, when it comes down to it, Williams is the better player than Anthony. Point guards are more important than small forwards. And if you were starting a franchise, there's no question as to which player you would take.
It's not even close.