The new head coach of the New York Knicks, Jeff Hornacek, is known for his pace and space style that he likes to run, and more than likely, that same style will be brought to New York. This means out with the triangle and in with transition basketball. Carmelo Anthony, star of the Knicks has expressed desire in getting up and down the court under Hornacek in a recent interview:
“I played against him a couple of times when he was the head coach out there in Phoenix,” Anthony said in an interview Saturday with WNBC-TV. “Everybody knows he likes to play an up-tempo pace of game, likes to get out in transition, likes to speed the game up a lot. So from that standpoint, I’ll definitely be looking forward to that.”
That sounds all good and dandy, and I love that Anthony is backing his new coach, but my question is, can Carmelo thrive in an uptempo offense?
For one, Anthony is getting up there in age. He doesn’t move as quickly or as smoothly as he once did and a lot of that has to do with age and recent injuries that he’s suffered. In his early years in Denver, as well as his stint with New York, we’ve never really seen Anthony in an uptempo offense. His style of play is predicated off of half court offense: a lot of post ups and mid-range face ups. The title of ball-stopper has always followed Carmelo Anthony and when trying to run a pace and space offense, a ball-stopper is the last thing you need. We’ve seen him move the ball more this season as his assists average went up, but at the end of the day, he still loved his isolation set-ups.
This mesh of fast pace offense and an aging Carmelo Anthony will definitely be something to pay attention to as next season arrives.