Donnie Walsh may no longer be with the Knicks, but it is clear that no bridges have been burned with his former employer.
Walsh spoke with New York reporters about the Knicks prior to their 88-76 victory over the Pacers, his current employer, and touched base on a number of topics regarding his old team. Walsh spoke highly about the Knicks’ early success, and more specifically Carmelo Anthony, who he feels is now playing with a team that he fully trusts.
“He’s with a group of guys that I think he believes in and so he’s doing it,” Walsh said according to ESPN New York. “I think he always tried to win the game … but when you’re there and you don’t know if there are other guys there that can do it, then maybe you overextend on [the offensive] end of it.
Walsh would go on to add that Anthony’s perception to not play defense is false, and that he is one of the few players in the league that can do everything.
“Now that he sees that the team as a whole is strong enough, he doesn’t have to do that night in and night out. He’s doing everything else. He can defend, he can rebound, he can pass. It was always there. Carmelo is one of the few players in this league who can do everything. And now he’s doing everything.”
Carmelo Anthony (7) is showing that he is more than a prolific scorer and is doing it all for the Knicks. PHOTO COURTESY: FERNANDO MEDINA/GETTY IMAGES
And now that Melo is finally doing “everything” else, the Knicks are the beneficiaries of his new style of play. Anthony’s intensity, particularly on the glass and on defense, has been mimicked by his teammates and has allowed him to play like the star that can lead his team to a title.
The supporting cast has been pleasant surprise as the plethora of veterans that the team brought in has helped them mature. Rasheed Wallace has looked rejuvenated and Jason Kidd’s wisdom has helped Raymond Felton make people easily forget about “Linsanity.”
One of the only concerns that the team will have is health, which could affect some of the older players as they go through the rigors of an NBA regular season.
Despite the new focus on defense, Anthony is still getting it done offensively in an efficient enough way for the Knicks to be successful. He is averaging 22.2 points and is averaging just 18.9 shots per game, the fourth lowest number of his career.
Anthony is even showing the ability to make the right pass when needed although he is only averaging 1.4 assists per game.
This new formula has the Knicks looking like one of the most complete teams in the NBA. It is obviously very early in the season but if Anthony stays committed to his new philosophy, Walsh may have wished he stayed with the Knicks.
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