Originally Posted by dopey
I was really impressed by two things, which I had not noticed before.
1) Anthony has really changed his game in a positive way. He still shoots a lot and is the team's most reliable scorer, BUT he is no longer a black hole. He is passing very well, and if it is not showing up in his assist numbers, it is still reflected in the offense's efficiency. Anthony breaks down defenses just by having the ball, and when he passes, it often results in something good. Several times, I saw the play go from Anthony with the ball, to a collapsed defense, to a pick-and-roll or two quick passes and a shot. I have never been a Melo fan, but ball don't lie.
2) Jason Kidd still has something. Despite being a bit slow(er), his passing is unbelievably good because he is not only accurate, but aggressive and creative, without being foolish. I am convinced his presence improves Felton. I kept thinking how much pressure there must on a young point-guard with Kidd as the two- guard looking over his shoulder. There is simply no room to be a cocky f-up with a guy like Kidd around, especially when Kidd STILL does a lot of things better than you. I am guessing it serves as a bit of a check, but also with some inspiration and mentoring thrown in.
And since I can't count:
3) Tyson Chandler was a monster with something like five alley-oops, mostly off the pick and roll, but also backdoor cuts. And I think from three different passers. And his defense was great (no one but Lopez got anything done inside)
Number 1 has been the biggest difference as everyone feeds off it. I can't count the number of times Melo would demand the ball and put up a crazy shot then to be followed by JR Smith or whoever jack up a crazy shot next time down. This season, while he still has the occasional Melo moment, he passes the ball when the shot is not there and everyone else follows suit. JR Smith in particular has had much better shot selection this year and I think that is a result of Melo/Kidd
Number 2, I'm shocked at how well Kidd is still playing and how he still commands the floor when he is on. When he wants to bring the ball up and direct the offense, he does. When he is off the ball, he is directing the teammates on where to be on the floor. Even in the timeouts, he is explaning the plays to the other guys. And his 3 point shooting has been good enough where the defense gets stretched because they have to stay up on him
Number 3, he was a monster yesterday. How many pick and rolls did he run last year post-Lin? Zero? This year him and Felton are the number one duo on pick and rolls and again, it goes back to Melo letting others command the ball and get plays rather than him hogging it.