I've long said that any team that relies on Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith to lead them on offense is doomed. That seems like a pretty obvious, common sense statement, but the Knicks apparently didn't get the memo. And Tyson Chandler has had enough of the insanity. He's come out criticizing the team's selfish, individualistic approach to the game. He wants better ball movement. More advantage taken of open looks. More winning as a team. Hey, the guy's got a championship ring – he knows what he is talking about.
Just a quick glance at the stats shows that the Knicks are exactly as Chandler says – a group of individuals, not a team. The aforementioned Melo and Smith, along with Raymond Felton, take on average 54 shots a game this postseason. Melo and Smith combine for 40 themselves, which is more than the rest of the roster (minus Felton) take combined. And they are brutally ineffecient, only finding the bottom of the net 37.4% of the time. Carmelo, of course, is the worst offender, taking over 25 shots a game, many of them ineffecient top of the arc three-pointers and long mid-range jumpers. Naturally, he's only shooting at a 39.1% clip.
But this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone – Melo and J.R. have made themselves multi-millionaires playing an individualistic game. Volume shooting won J.R. the Sixth Man of the Year award this year and garnered Melo a first place MVP vote. And it also shouldn't come as a surprise that the Knicks appear to be on the verge of bowing out of the playoffs.
Carmelo's reply to Chandler's complaint also isn't surprising, and it sums up his mindset and is the perfect obituary for the Knicks season: "I really don't know what he's talking about". Priceless. Clueless.