- David Thorpe, ESPN Staff Writer
It's almost beyond ironic to consider what is now evident -- the New York Knicks traded away very talented young players in their desperate attempt to gain a superstar and become relevant, but their biggest star so far in 2012 is previously unheralded Jeremy Lin, his splash made while the star New York picked up is injured and on the bench. With the irony duly noted, it's been a sensational story. The question now is: What happens when the superstar the Knicks traded for, Carmelo Anthony, returns to the lineup?
To start, some simple math is in order. In his entire career, Anthony has never averaged fewer than 16.4 shots per game, and that total came in his second season as a pro. Since then he's never taken fewer than 18.3 shots per game in a season, including seasons played with point guards like Allen Iverson and Chauncey Billups (both guys who score a lot of points). As a Knick this season he's at 18.8 shots per game, most coming while playing alongside point guards Iman Shumpert and Toney Douglas. Both guys play both guard spots, but generally speaking, as point guards, each averages about 9-11 shots per game.
Since Lin has arrived, and discounting the "game" (blowout city) against the Kings, the phenom is taking about 20 shots per game. So doing the math, we see issue No. 1: Melo is used to his 18-plus shots per game, and with Lin as the point guard it's very unlikely he'll average that number. Lin can distribute, but this is a stretch.
Carmelo Anthony has sat out while Linsanity has gripped Gotham. How will Melo fit into the Knicks' new offense when he returns to the lineup? David Thorpe has some ideas.