After 19 games, there has been an internal debate amongst Knicks fans: who should be the first option for the New York Knicks? Carmelo Anthony or Kristaps Porzingis.
- Kristaps Porzingis is averaging 21 points at 48% (16 shots per game)
- Carmelo Anthony is averaging 23 points at 43% (19 shots per game)
It is clear that Porzingis is the winner if we're basing this question off numbers. However, is it the best idea for a 21 year old to inherit the majority of the workload?
It is important to factor in that maybe the Knicks are better off with Porzingis as the second option... for now. Coach Jeff Hornacek wants to let the game come to Porzingis as the Knicks build towards the future. The Knicks will not beat the Warriors/Spurs/Clippers/Cavs in a 7 game series if all of a sudden Porzingis averages more shot attempts than Melo. Hornacek has bigger problems, like Joakim Noah.
Porzingis’ higher efficiency is a result of Melo’s gravitational pull. Help defenders are waiting to pounce as Melo receives the rock, opening up room for guys like Porzingis.
Melo is past his prime, but he is still clutch. He has two game winners this season, and this is due to the fact that he is not getting worn out through the first three quarters, unlike the past two seasons. There is a codependency that is definitely beneficial both for Melo and Porzingis. Using Carmelo Anthony as the main option is a blessing in disguise.
Imagine a world without Melo: where the entire weight of the Knicks’ fan base, New York media, and James Dolan is on the shoulders of a 21 year old kid. Knicks fans would boo Porzingis louder than they did in the draft if he had a couple of inconsistent games back to back.
I think a huge issue with our fellow Knicks fans is that they require instant gratification. We see Porzingis scoring more efficiently, and immediately boo Melo for capitalizing on isolation plays that are ran for him.
Let the team grow and figure it out. There are other ways to win a title than just signing a bunch of big names and throwing them together.