Carmelo must get past playoff fadeaway

The term fadeaway in basketball refers to a shot where the offensive player halts their forward progress and attempts the shot while their body is moving away from the basket.

The term fadeaway to me can also refer to Carmelo Anthony's offensive game in the postseason.

The picture to the right of this text shows Melo attempting yet another fadeaway shot against Tyson Chandler and the Hornets. Melo finished Game 1 shooting just 4-12 from the field. Too many times I saw Carmelo settle for pull up jumpers and fadeaway shots when he had paths to the rim.

I worry that Melo either puts too much pressure on himself to score in the postseason or that he gets psyched out by the defensive schemes he faces come playoff time. Typically Melo will draw quick double teams and he has shown in the regular season that he can beat them either off the drive or by passing the ball. He does like to pull up for jumpers as the double comes from time-to-time, but I felt that he settled too many times in Game 1 for that quick shot.

This season Melo averaged 22.8 points per game and in three games against the Hornets he upped that average to 25 ppg. But in Game 1 Melo only scored 13 points on 33% shooting against the Bugs and it was the exact same team. Heck, you could say with a gimpy Tyson Chandler that these Hornets may actually be worse off on defense ... yet Melo wasn't able to benefit from it.

Instead of Melo going off in Game 1 Chauncey Billups took that role. Billups, averaging 17.7 ppg, set the Nuggets franchise mark with 8 three-pointers made in one game and took the scoring burden away from Melo for a night.

But we all know Billups will probably hover closer to his season averages and not come out for 36+ every night. And Melo must accept the challenge of leading his team in the scoring department, but be able to do so while playing within himself.

It's a tricky thing to ask Melo not to feel extra pressure, but lead the team by scoring at will. Sort of an oxy-moron. For his career Melo averages 24.2 ppg in 36.2 minutes, but in the playoffs that dips to 20.8 ppg while his minutes are slightly up at 37.4 minutes per game.

Tomorrow night Melo will have the confidence knowing his team is up 1-0 and again being on their home floor I would like to see the "regular season" Melo show up and get to work scoring the basketball.

All the ingredients are there. Melo's teammates showed they are up for the challenge in Game 1 ... and now it's Melo's time to enter the spotlight, not fadeaway from it.

 

Regular Season Post Season
Season Points Per Game  FG% Points Per Game  FG%
2003-04 21 42.6%  15 32.8% 
2004-05 20.8 43.1% 19.2 42.2%
2005-06 26.5 48.1% 21 33.3%
2006-07 28.9 47.6% 26.8 48%
2007-08 25.7 49.2% 22.5 36.4%
2008-09   22.8 44.3% 13.0 (one game) 33.3%

 

 

ntimmons73@yahoo.com

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