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  1. #1
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    Melo vs Lebron by Broussard/nba assistant

    He's an assistant coach on one of the top staffs in the league, not a rabid fan deluded by love for his team. So his words should be taken seriously. And after studying both the Heat and the Knicks, he told me this week he'd take the Knicks in a seven-game series.

    When I mentioned this to a longtime Eastern Conference scout, the scout didn't fall out of his chair. While he wouldn't go as far as the coach, he did say the Knicks are "absolutely a legitimate threat" to dethrone the Heat.

    The Knicks, who destroyed the Heat on Thursday night in Miami, have lots of things going for them but none bigger than Carmelo Anthony. Despite the fact Anthony did not play last night because of stitches in his middle finger on his left hand, he is on my short list of early season MVP candidates, plays LeBron James better than any other swingman in the league.

    No one outplays James, whose versatility enables him to impact the game more than any player in the league. Most guys, in fact, get dominated by him. But not Anthony. While he may not pass and defend as well as James, he comes closer than anyone to matching James' production.


    ESPN.com researcher Ryan Feldman went all the way back to the 2007-08 season to study how the league's top swingmen have fared against LeBron. He looked at their production when they were on the court together (whether guarding each other or not) and found the following revelations. (All stats are per 48 minutes.)

    When James and Joe Johnson have been on the court together, James has averaged 47.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, 10.1 assists and 4.3 steals on 49.4 percent shooting (per 48 minutes). Johnson, who was traded from Atlanta to Brooklyn last summer, has averaged 27.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 0.4 steals on 46.4 percent shooting. Obviously, James has owned that matchup.

    In similar fashion, James has outscored Boston's Paul Pierce by an average of 23 points per game, Indiana's Danny Granger by an average of more than 14 points per game and Denver's Andre Iguodala (formerly of Philadelphia) by nearly nine points per game, on average.

    Kevin Durant fares better and even outscores LeBron (30.5 to 29.0). But the fact Durant has shot just 36 percent compared to LeBron's 46 percent still gives James the upper hand. Throw in that LeBron has outrebounded Durant by an average of three boards per game and given out 9.9 assists to Durant's 1.5 assists, and the matchup falls solidly in James' favor.

    But it's a different story with Anthony. Melo has averaged 34.3 points to LeBron's 33.5. Surprisingly, he's also outrebounded LeBron 9.7 to 9.4. LeBron has the big edge in assists (8.2 to 3.5) and also tops Anthony in shooting percentage (48.8 percent to 44.1 percent). With James unable to obliterate his opponent like usual, his clubs have struggled against Anthony's, winning just six of their past 16 games against them.

    One factor that helps Anthony when playing James' teams is that Anthony, unlike the aforementioned players, rarely guards James. And while Melo has shown a marked improvement in his defense this season, he won't guard James in the foreseeable future. That's because the Knicks have tough and hard-nosed Ronnie Brewer to guard James. Plus, Jason Kidd can guard him in spurts and when Iman Shumpert gets healthy, he can take James.

    "Melo can get a rest on the defensive end because he doesn't have to guard LeBron," the assistant coach said. "I think that helps him a lot."

    James doesn't have that luxury. He has to spend plenty of time guarding Anthony, arguably the league's best scorer.

    "You can't put anybody else on Melo if you're Miami," the coach said. "You can try to put Shane Battier on him, but he's going to abuse Battier."

    Anthony is also benefiting this season from the presence of Kidd. The scout pointed out that the only time Anthony ever won a playoff series was in 2008-09 when he played beside Chauncey Billups in Denver. Both Kidd and Billups are point guards whom Melo respects.

    "I think there's a direct correlation between the success Melo is having this year and the fact that Kidd is there," the scout said. "If Melo doesn't have a point guard he respects, he's going to get his points and it's going to be a crap show and not about winning. I don't think there's any doubt that's one reason we've seen a different Melo this year."

    But the Knicks are more than Anthony. One reason the assistant coach likes the Knicks is because they're not intimidated by the Heat. Kidd and Tyson Chandler have already beaten the Heat (as members of the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals), and cagey veterans Rasheed Wallace, Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby aren't impressed by Miami's pedigree.

    "With most teams there's a fear factor in playing the Heat that accounts for 5 to 7 points a game," the coach said. "But the Knicks are the oldest team ever. They have too many guys who are experienced enough and still good enough not to care about how good LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are. If LeBron or Wade is driving to the hole, you're going to get glimpses of those old, hard-fought Knicks-Heat series. A guy like Kurt Thomas will put them on their butt."

    And remember, even though the Knicks enter Thursday night's game with the conference's best record at 13-4, they're still not whole. They've got reinforcements coming in Shumpert and Amar'e Stoudemire. There have been reports that Stoudemire is willing to come off the bench, though Stoudemire has not confirmed them. The assistant coach thinks that would make the Knicks devastating.

    "If Amar'e is in fact ready to come off the bench, that's another major problem for the Heat," he said. "Who on Miami's bench is guarding that dude? And if you play him and Sheed together, there are so many things you can do with that lineup. You can space the floor a bit better because now Amar'e's got a stretch 4/5 in Sheed that can give him room to operate."

    The scout said the key for Stoudemire is not so much whether he starts, but where his focus is.

    "First and foremost, Amar'e's got to buy into defending and rebounding," the scout said. "He can't play phantom defense like he has the last two, three years. He made a lot of people a lot of money by the way he guarded them the past few seasons. If he decides to buy in, watch out."

    The bottom line is that Thursday night's game in Miami might have been a preview of the Eastern Conference finals, one that certainly should no longer be viewed as a cakewalk for the Heat.

  2. #2
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    why is this guy anonymous

  3. #3
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    Seriously? Melo is playing well this season, but Durant is still the next closes thing to LBJ in th league. And suggesting that Melo plays LBJ better than any other wing? That's not even true (I've seen Prince, Pierce and Deng all play LBJ more effectively than Melo). Firstly, the second win for NY over MIA came with Melo sitting on the bench. Secondly, Melo the last two post season when Melo and LBJ when head-to-head, Melo shot .375 from the field one year, and .419 the next. I would hardly say that's playing LBJ better than any wing. I'd say the opposite in fact. Durant and Melo are scoring around the same clip right now, but Durant is out rebounding Melo and getting more assists in the process, while also getting about twice as many blocks and steals. And Durant is currently shooting over .500 from the floor, over .450 from the arc and over .900 from the charity stripe, all better percentages than Melo.

    Is NY a threat to MIA? Yes. Is Melo in the MVP conversation? Sure, but he's not at the top of it. Woodson deserves as much credit for making this work as anybody in my opinion. That's not to take away from what Melo is doing in NY, but let us be honest, if he was doing it in Utah, or Denver or Minny, or Memphis instead of New York, nobody would be talking about it.

    LBJ is still the best player and best small forward in the game, and Durant is still the second best player and second best small forward in the game, and he's actually closed the gap a little between he and LBJ.

    Durant is the one who should be getting the love. He's improved his rebounding and passing (his assists have gone up, and turnovers have gone down) and percentages, while his team currently has more wins than any other team in the league!
    Last edited by JasonJohnHorn; 12-08-2012 at 10:15 AM.
    Why did the chicken cross the basketball court?
    Because he heard the refs were blowing fowls.

  4. #4
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    Amazing.
    Spurs Sim league
    2 time Champion 653-331

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonJohnHorn View Post
    Seriously? Melo is playing well this season, but Durant is still the next closes thing to LBJ in th league. And suggesting that Melo plays LBJ better than any other wing? That's not even true (I've seen Prince, Pierce and Deng all play LBJ more effectively than Melo). Firstly, the second win for NY over MIA came with Melo sitting on the bench. Secondly, Melo the last two post season when Melo and LBJ when head-to-head, Melo shot .375 from the field one year, and .419 the next. I would hardly say that's playing LBJ better than any wing. I'd say the opposite in fact. Durant and Melo are scoring around the same clip right now, but Durant is out rebounding Melo and getting more assists in the process, while also getting about twice as many blocks and steals. And Durant is currently shooting over .500 from the floor, over .450 from the arc and over .900 from the charity stripe, all better percentages than Melo.

    Is NY a threat to MIA? Yes. Is Melo in the MVP conversation? Sure, but he's not at the top of it. Woodson deserves as much credit for making this work as anybody in my opinion. That's not to take away from what Melo is doing in NY, but let us be honest, if he was doing it in Utah, or Denver or Minny, or Memphis instead of New York, nobody would be talking about it.

    LBJ is still the best player and best small forward in the game, and Durant is still the second best player and second best small forward in the game, and he's actually closed the gap a little between he and LBJ.

    Durant is the one who should be getting the love. He's improved his rebounding and passing (his assists have gone up, and turnovers have gone down) and percentages, while his team currently has more wins than any other team in the league!
    Did you actually read the article? Might want to read it again because your comments make no sense as pertaining to what was written.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by waveycrockett View Post
    why is this guy anonymous
    Ask Broussard

  7. #7
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    So why does lebron have to guard melo? I feel he guards him sporadically and the heat play zone a lot with a lot of switching. And even when they did run man I'd see battier guarding melo just for that reason. I wouldn't be so quick to give melo the upperhand.
    I think Lebron is just the best all-around player we have in the game today.
    -Magic Johnson

  8. #8
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    you make nothing but melo threads bahahah.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonJohnHorn View Post
    Seriously? Melo is playing well this season, but Durant is still the next closes thing to LBJ in th league. And suggesting that Melo plays LBJ better than any other wing? That's not even true (I've seen Prince, Pierce and Deng all play LBJ more effectively than Melo). Firstly, the second win for NY over MIA came with Melo sitting on the bench. Secondly, Melo the last two post season when Melo and LBJ when head-to-head, Melo shot .375 from the field one year, and .419 the next. I would hardly say that's playing LBJ better than any wing. I'd say the opposite in fact. Durant and Melo are scoring around the same clip right now, but Durant is out rebounding Melo and getting more assists in the process, while also getting about twice as many blocks and steals. And Durant is currently shooting over .500 from the floor, over .450 from the arc and over .900 from the charity stripe, all better percentages than Melo.

    Is NY a threat to MIA? Yes. Is Melo in the MVP conversation? Sure, but he's not at the top of it. Woodson deserves as much credit for making this work as anybody in my opinion. That's not to take away from what Melo is doing in NY, but let us be honest, if he was doing it in Utah, or Denver or Minny, or Memphis instead of New York, nobody would be talking about it.

    LBJ is still the best player and best small forward in the game, and Durant is still the second best player and second best small forward in the game, and he's actually closed the gap a little between he and LBJ.

    Durant is the one who should be getting the love. He's improved his rebounding and passing (his assists have gone up, and turnovers have gone down) and percentages, while his team currently has more wins than any other team in the league!
    LOL.
    I don't think the article ever said that Melo is better than LeBron. Nor did it even say that Melo is better than Durant. It pretty much just compares head to head match ups and analyzes why Melo has had success against LeBron over the years. Maybe read the article before randomly answering with something that is completely off base.

  10. #10
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    One of the Knicks stooges at it again
    [

  11. #11
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    Durant is a better player but Melo matches up very well against LeBron. How many SF's can push LeBron around on the inside? Just Melo and maybe Ron Ron but he isnt really doing any scoring.

  12. #12
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    Since they highschool days neither could guard either one,they always matched up well, just check those CAVS/NUGGS games, it seemed like 37-40pts were put up by both BRON/MELO/

    MELO has always had a better offensive arsenal than BRON, as far as facingup/pullup j or 3shot/postgame

    but BRON can do whatever he wants on the court ala MAGIC/AI/JORDANlike, that what seperates him in my book

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by waveycrockett View Post
    Durant is a better player but Melo matches up very well against LeBron. How many SF's can push LeBron around on the inside? Just Melo and maybe Ron Ron but he isnt really doing any scoring.
    I think this is the first time I've ever agreed with you. Good post.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelers23_06 View Post
    So why does lebron have to guard melo? I feel he guards him sporadically and the heat play zone a lot with a lot of switching. And even when they did run man I'd see battier guarding melo just for that reason. I wouldn't be so quick to give melo the upperhand.
    Who else on the heat can guard Melo. I don't think You can play too much Zone with the Knicks though.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonJohnHorn View Post
    Seriously? Melo is playing well this season, but Durant is still the next closes thing to LBJ in th league. And suggesting that Melo plays LBJ better than any other wing? That's not even true (I've seen Prince, Pierce and Deng all play LBJ more effectively than Melo). Firstly, the second win for NY over MIA came with Melo sitting on the bench. Secondly, Melo the last two post season when Melo and LBJ when head-to-head, Melo shot .375 from the field one year, and .419 the next. I would hardly say that's playing LBJ better than any wing. I'd say the opposite in fact. Durant and Melo are scoring around the same clip right now, but Durant is out rebounding Melo and getting more assists in the process, while also getting about twice as many blocks and steals. And Durant is currently shooting over .500 from the floor, over .450 from the arc and over .900 from the charity stripe, all better percentages than Melo.

    Is NY a threat to MIA? Yes. Is Melo in the MVP conversation? Sure, but he's not at the top of it. Woodson deserves as much credit for making this work as anybody in my opinion. That's not to take away from what Melo is doing in NY, but let us be honest, if he was doing it in Utah, or Denver or Minny, or Memphis instead of New York, nobody would be talking about it.

    LBJ is still the best player and best small forward in the game, and Durant is still the second best player and second best small forward in the game, and he's actually closed the gap a little between he and LBJ.

    Durant is the one who should be getting the love. He's improved his rebounding and passing (his assists have gone up, and turnovers have gone down) and percentages, while his team currently has more wins than any other team in the league!
    Your stats are meaningless when the article provides stats that pertain to the argument.

    Try reading things over completely before you spew nonsense. The author was not claiming that Melo is better than Lebron or Durant or anyone for that matter. He states that the match up is favorable to Melo.

    As for the bolded part ... Melo WAS doing it in Denver and we WERE talking about it. C'mon, son.

    Posts like yours are pure hate speech.

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