Shortly after Tyson Chandler — not an entirely passive observer — suggested a paucity of ball movement has a role in the Knicks’ struggles with Indiana in the Eastern Conference Semis, the New York Daily News’ Mitch Lawrence took an opposing approach, declaring New York’s fate in the series rests entirely on whether or not Carmelo Anthony is willing to step up and
hog the fuck out of the ball embrace his role (“Anthony didn’t shoot nearly enough in Game 3…and and now they’re staring at a 2-1 series hole because their superstar scorer failed to do what he’s paid millions to do”).
Anthony has to know that if the Knicks are going down in this round to a good Pacers team, but nowhere near a great team, he has got to go down shooting. He didn’t lead the league in scoring and place third in the MVP balloting, his best finish in his NBA career, because he was John Stockton passing the ball or because he did a bang-up job deferring to his teammates.
Late Saturday night, when he spoke on the podium, he knew he didn’t make a basket in the fourth quarter, but didn’t realize he had only taken three shots in nine-plus minutes of action. Like all of his playoff losses that don’t ever seem to bother him, his two-point fourth quarter also didn’t seem to sting him too badly.
“Everything comes down to making shots,’’ he said, “and we didn’t do that.”
Or in his case, taking shots.