Following the 2013-14 NBA season, Carmelo Anthony will undoubtedly be one of the biggest free agents on the market. In fact, the Knicks’ star has even mentioned that one of his “dreams” is to test NBA free agency.
"I want to be a free agent," Anthony told the New York Observer. "I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It's like you have an evaluation period, you know. It's like if I'm in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience."
Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why he hasn’t had a great start to the season.
Through the first three games of the regular season, Anthony has been struggling mightily near the end of games. Through three games he had shot just 7-for-22 and 1-for-5 behind the arc during fourth quarters. Even more alarming, he has yet to go to the free through line in the final quarter.
What’s Wrong, Melo?
Even Anthony acknowledged that something has been wrong with his game to start the season.
"For myself, maybe I'm second-guessing myself as well," Anthony said, according to ESPN. "Maybe I'm a little bit passive out there, trying to do things that's out of the norm and trying to make people better at the wrong times.
"That's where I'm second-guessing myself. And I'm second-guessing my shot, and should I take this or should I pass this. I got to get out of that mentality quick."
It’s a very long season and Anthony has more than enough time to turn things around. But one can’t help but wonder if he isn’t putting too much pressure on himself to look good this season in-order to become one of the most highly touted free agents in NBA history.
Coach Weighs In
Knicks coach Mike Woodson has also noticed something different with Carmelo Anthony to start the 2013-14 season, but he believes it’s more of a team problem than a Melo problem.
"We got new faces on this team," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "I am not putting it all on Melo.
"Melo is a big part of what we do here, and he has been great at it. I think at times he might be trying to make sure everybody is involved and being a part of it, and that is OK too. That is not getting us beat."
Patience or Panic?
With so many games left in the season, it would be absurd to panic. Then again, the Knicks are a team loaded with talent. Heading into the regular season, they were considered a top 10 team and a serious championship contender.
They clearly have all of the talent to win a championship, but for some reason the Knicks have always struggled to play as a team. That’s why nobody can blame fans if they are already pressing the panic button.
Coach Woodson is right when he hinted to the fact that there are a lot of new faces on the Knicks’ roster. He’s right when he says that it’ll take time for everyone to get on the same page. But even though there are a lot of new faces in New York, they still look like the same ol’ Knickerbockers.
Carmelo Must Step Up His Game
The Knicks have done everything possible to surround Carmelo Anthony with a lot of talent. At a certain point, team chemistry cannot consistently be used as an excuse for why the team is struggling. At a certain point, Melo needs to step up and be the superstar everyone thinks he is.
Then again, maybe Anthony has been vastly overrated throughout the years. A true superstar would make everyone around him better. That has never been the case with Carmelo, and by the looks of things, it may never be.
If Anthony wants to become one of the biggest free agents in NBA history, it’s time for him to step his game up and lead the Knicks to a championship.