Knicks Notes: Anthony, Robinson, Bullock, Predictions

Carmelo Anthony received a hero’s welcome as he returned to Madison Square Garden with the Trail Blazers last night, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Anthony was cheered during pre-game introductions and every time he touched the ball. The cheers grew even louder when he scored, as the fans offered their thanks for his six and a half years of service to the Knicks.

“The love was definitely felt tonight,” Anthony said. “From the fans that were here, just the city as a whole, just being back. I think that feeling is kind of hard to explain. But for me to kind of get that ovation, I think I’ve always had the love from the city like that. But to be back in this building where I spent so many years, that love felt extremely good tonight.”

It was only Anthony’s second trip back to Garden since being traded in 2017, and he celebrated with a season-high 26 points. He admitted to reporters that he’d like to see the Knicks retire his number some day.

“I did glance up at the rafters today during the national anthem,” Anthony said. “You know, they say in life you’ve got to envision, so I was envisioning seeing Anthony hanging up there.”

There’s more from New York this morning:

  • The difference in the fan reactions to Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis may have something to do with the return the Knicks got for each player, suggests Marc Berman of The New York Post. While the Porzingis deal brought back Dennis Smith Jr. and a ton of cap room that failed to deliver a star, the package for Anthony included a second-round pick that turned into Mitchell Robinson. The second-year center delivered one of his best performances Wednesday, making all 11 of his shots from the field in a 22-point, eight-rebound night. “I honestly think he’s getting better and better and better,” Anthony said of Robinson. “I don’t really think he understands how good he is or how good he can be and his ceiling. The way he plays is perfect for the way the Knicks play.”
  • Reggie Bullock made his Knicks debut last night, giving the team five healthy shooting guards for the first time this season, Berman notes in a separate story. Playing his first game since spinal fusion surgery in July, Bullock scored 11 points in 15 minutes as Wayne Ellington and Allonzo Trier both remained on the bench.
  • Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic offers several Knicks predictions for 2020, including no first-round pick in exchange for Marcus Morris, roster moves to get rid of Ellington and Bobby Portis by the end of February, and no Mark Jackson or Masai Ujiri in the team’s future.
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24 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Anthony, Robinson, Bullock, Predictions

  1. What a tenure in New York Carmelo had!

    – Three playoff appearances
    – One series win
    – A losing record
    – Five difference coaches

    Carmelo has been easily the most overrated player of the past 30 years.

    • SheaGoodbye

      He definitely was not a star. He could be a good player if put in the right situation, but being asked to lead a franchise was far more than he was capable of.

        • MarlinsFanBase

          Why did he refuse to follow the game plans of his coaches? Why did he turn off Superstars from joining the Knicks by him making it clear that they would be his sidekick, even if they were better than him?

          Hey, I love this game!

    • Decius

      Is it possible for a player to be appreciated without the haters trying to stomp it out? As a Knicks fan, I am very aware of the pluses and minuses of Carmelo’s game. That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the time he spent with the team. Everyone seems to forget that he handled himself like a professional while Phil was acting like a buffoon towards him. For once, let’s talk about the good things he brings and not try to bad mouth his Hall of Fame career. Take your hate elsewhere.

      • a. If Carmelo had produced any wins, they wouldn’t have gotten fired.

        b. I’m not saying anything about his character. Just that he is wildly overrated as a player. He’s someone who could inefficiently score 25 ppg on bad teams. He’ll get into the Hall of Fame because voters love ppg, he’s popular, and made a bunch of All Star games, but change his name and he is a lot closer to being a Kevin Martin/ Danny Granger / Jerry Stackhouse level of player.

        • Sirsleepit

          There are 15 players on a team kawg. One player can NOT carry a team in the nba. The closest we’ve ever seen is Lebron

          • MarlinsFanBase

            Agreed that no one player can carry a team by himself. However, the difference between a franchise Superstar player and a guy that’s just an All Star, is that the Superstar makes his team a whole lot better the day he arrives on the team. Carmelo was an All Star that thought he was a Superstar. If there is anything that many people have knocked him about deservingly, it was that and how that kept him from being able to lure a Superstar to the Knicks because guys who are better than Carmelo are not going to join him to be forced into being his sidekick because he refuses to play any system that doesn’t revolve around him.

            • Decius

              Why does he have to be comped to other players? Can’t he just be Melo? A hall of fame talent with some flaws. I would take him any day. Useful on any team. Putting the ball in the basket is an important stat. Just sayin’…..

              • MarlinsFanBase

                He gets compared to other players that are Superstars because he acted like he was one more so than many of the guys that actually were. This happened since Day 1 and went all the way through his career until no team wanted him until Portland picked him up.

                Here are some of the highlights of why he gets criticized and why he gets called out for no being a Superstar when he acts like one:

                Draft Night, he states that he’s the best player in the draft. Ahem…LeBron James and Dwayne Wade didn’t get that memo.

                In Denver, before George Karl arrived, he got a few coaches fired because he refused to follow their calls and play their systems.

                In Denver, after Karl arrives, they constantly battle each other over him refusing to play Karl’s system. Karl has to use other players to get him to play his system.

                When Denver acquires Allen Iverson, both of the ego maniacs, can’t win because it becomes the battle of “hero ball” where both of them start jacking up shots without moving the ball around. This leads the Nuggets to trading Iverson to favor the younger Melo. They acquire Billups, who Karl uses to get Melo to cooperate with his system.

                When Carmelo starts forcing his way out of Denver, fans and Karl are thrilled to see him go. even for the return they got.

                In NYC, even when Amare is healthy, they struggle with coordinating because Melo refuses to follow the coaches system.

                “Lin-sanity” happens to save a season that was going nowhere when Melo was healthy, but looks better when he’s on injured reserve and Lin takes over. When Melo returns back, when asked by reporters about blending into the system that was winning games, he made it clear that he didn’t need to adjust to the system because “I been doin’ this fo’ years…mah teammates need to adjust to me.”

                Melo battles with d’Antoni as he refuses to buy into d’Antoni’s system. This results in d’Antoni going to management pleading to trade Melo because either Melo had to go or he would go. Knicks management chose for Melo to stay and d’Antoni to go.

                Then things don’t go right for the coaches afterward as Melo refuses to play their system as he prefers to play his beloved ISOs.

                The Knicks then later get leaders like Jason Kidd to get Melo to play in the coach’s system, and the Knicks make the Playoffs as one of the top seeds. The vets are gone after the season, and Melo resorts back to his own thing, and the Knicks kept losing and firing coaches ever since.

                Phil Jackson arrives, and he and Melo have the ego war because Phil wants his system and Melo wants to do his own thing like he’s done throughout his career.

                Also note, when there were moments of discussion of Melo luring another star to NY to join forces with him, that was hindered when Melo made it clear that no matter who came, they’d be his sidekick. This involved his comments like the time when he said, “I’m a better scorer and Lebron and Curry” and another time when he stated, “…come here, put me at the head of the table, and let’s go to work.”

                After he’s finally traded away from NY, he goes onto OKC where he shows that he can’t play alongside Westbrook and George, then he goes to Houston where he shows that he can’t play alongside Harden and CP3 under the system of his “ole buddy” d’Antoni…both situations in which he was not allowed to run his ISOs and where his teammates were better than him.

                This is why Melo is compared to players better than him and why he is criticized.

                • Decius

                  If a player doesn’t have confidence, he doesn’t get to the NBA. I’m glad he thought he was the best. Do you want an alpha on your team who feels the are inferior to other alphas? Whether it is true or not, I want my star to feel he is the best on the planet. That is how they get the most out of their talent. You probably the ink Dominique Wilkins sucked too, huh? That is who Melo reminds me of. Note in terms of their actual play, but their position in the league. Exciting scorers who aren’t gonna win a ring, but exciting nonetheless. For every W, their is a L. Not every player can put banners in the rafters. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t great. Quick question, before Portland, who was Melo’s best teammate? Kinda hard to win without adequate help.

                  • MarlinsFanBase

                    Confidence is fine, but not to the point that you hurt the team by refusing to play systems put out by multiple coaches, refuse to work with teammates in efforts that the team is functioning and winning in, and deterring other stars from joining your team because you insist that you’ll be the top dog no matter how good they are. And this is just the easily noticeable stuff.

                    Who was his best teammate before Portland? Hmmmm…in Denver he played with Allen Iverson, but that turned into an underachieving fecal storm due to both egomaniacs refusing to play in the system, refusing to move the ball around, and doing nothing but jacking up shots to see who can be the bigger hero – and the kicker is that Denver went on to win a franchise high in total games the next year after trading Melo. In NY, he played with Amare before the injuries did him in, and that was not working because he refused to play in the system the way it was working and winning under d’Antoni before he arrived – and the laugher was that Jeremy Lin saved a following season when the Knicks weren’t winning with Melo, but started winning without him behind the “Lin-sanity” run. In OKC, he played with Russell Westbrook and Paul George. In Houston, he played with James Harden and Chris Paul. Yeah, definitely all of these guys are not adequate help.

                    As for Dominique Wilkins, he made his team better. Melo is not him. Melo is more of an advanced/evolved version of Glenn Robinson or Glen Rice, but even those two were more efficient in the one weapon they all had (scoring), and they both took less shots – with Robinson being considered a prolific ball chucker. Melo will be in the Hall because of his PPG due to volume scoring. If the Basketball Hall of Fame had a more credible analytics system for evaluating career performance that went beyond volume, Melo would be a borderline guy. If they used MLB standards, he would not be in because Melo is the NBA version of a baseball player that averages 30 HRs in 700+ ABs per season while posting a .250 batting average and .290 OBP.

                  • MarlinsFanBase

                    Wow, my comment is awaiting moderation?

                    Well, before Portland, Melo played with Allen Iverson, for a short period with a healthy Amare, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, James Harden, and Chris Paul. Yeah, these clearly aren’t adequate.

        • Otogar

          He is a Tracy McGrady level of player. That is, a borderline HoF (but way better than any of the three you mentioned).

        • MarlinsFanBase

          Kawg

          I’ve always seen Carmelo as a modern day, evolved version of Glenn Robinson and Glen Rice. And even they never shot the ball up as much as him and both were slightly more efficient with their scoring. And yes, that says a lot that Carmelo averaged more shots and less efficiency than Glenn Robinson – the guy reputed as one of the most prolific ball-hogging shot jackers in the last few decades.

        • macwebb

          One thing that people often overlook is that it is not the NBA Hall of Fame, but the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. With all due respect, Carmelo will be a Hall of Famer not only because of his NBA career, but it will include his record at Syracuse and Olympic play. If you combine that with his NBA career, there are quite a few accomplishments that merit his induction. You can like it or not, but no one can deny his accomplishments and their worth in basketball history.

          • MarlinsFanBase

            Yes, fair comment. It also supports my statement that if it used the MLB standards of the Hall of Fame, which does not include college, Olympics, International Ball, or WBC, then Carmelo wouldn’t be a Hall of Famer. Since the Basketball Hall of Fame uses lesser standards, he’s a lock.

    • Sirsleepit

      Definitely not Melo’s fault they had all those coaches. Also not his fault that the best player they got to play with him was Stoudemire. One player doesn’t make a team

      • MarlinsFanBase

        Yeah, the fact that he refused to play their systems, and one (d’Antoni) went to management stating it was Melo or him had to go, definitely shows no sign of it being Melo’s fault that those coaches were gone. And it’s only a coincidence that it happened in Denver too before Karl took over and laid down the law.

  2. NYK have no reason to dump contracts, unless they get something for them. I wouldn’t mind getting rid of Randle’s contract (which is the only major one on the books next year), as well as get him off the depth chart (so Robinson can start), but either way they’ll have plenty of summer cap space. Portis and Ellington aren’t hurting anything; solid locker room guys that (at their salaries) are unlikely to be targets by other teams. Gibson too, plus he’s guy I think they’d like to keep around through next year.

    I believe the only veteran FAs they signed that have real trade value are Morris (15 mm/expiring), eventually, with health, Bullock (at 4 mm, with a team option) and maybe Payton (8 mm, with team option). RFAs (Dotson and Trier) and third year RSC guys (DSJ and Frank) are the other guys on whom decisions need to made. Wish we had a FO.

  3. Sirsleepit

    The return for both players has ZERO bearing on how they are treated. Melo wanted to go to the Knicks, gave them 6.5 years of all star caliber ball. Porzingis gave them a couple injury plagued seasons and then forced a trade out. Awful narrative tbh

  4. x%sure

    Robinson, on his lob dunk: “I don’t know, dawg — my arm just is really long, brah,’’ Robinson said. “It’s like, I can.””

    I have to like all that. I did predict the playoffs. No need to trade the players, since this is not a good midseason for that.

    Melo is not a savior, but is still talented, and the Blazers were in an off-year anyway.

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