When it was all said and done, Carmelo Anthony torched the Celtics to the tune of 37 points, leading the way to a victory for his Knicks. The game tying three-pointer with about three minutes to go sticks out most, as do the two free throws on the questionable foul called on Marquis Daniels. Without Paul Pierce to check Melo, the burden fell mostly on Sasha Pavlovic and Quis. Sasha struggled heavily, but while going through film in the GreenLab, Quis did a solid job on Melo.
When Quis was able to be aggressive and establish his position on Melo first, he did a good job defending him. When Melo went into his offense quickly, being a spot up jumper or drive to the basket, he was able to score. Check the videos below for a detailed examination of Quis' defense from each half.
Quis First Half Defense on Melo
- 0:00-0:18 - Quis picks up Melo at half court, and follows him to the high post. Here, he's able to fight and establish his position first, denying Melo the ball and making him work to get it. He angles Melo to the middle, cutting off the baseline as well as the option of driving with his strong hand. Quis doesn't bite on Melo's fakes, and Melo is forced to kick it out.
- 0:19-0:30 – Off an out-of-bounds set, Melo inbounds the ball and cuts to the right three-point line. As he does this, Quis fights through a Bill Walker screen and is able to establish position as Melo hesitates again. Quis again cuts off the baseline, forcing Melo to the middle and dribbling with his left hand. As he funnels him in, he successfully slap-steals the ball from Melo, creating the turnover.
- 0:31 – 0:40 – Again off the inblunds play, Melo receives the ball back, but this time in the low post, hoping to get better position on Quis. Quis again cuts off the baseline as well as his strong dribble side. Melo attempts a swipe fake but kicks it out to Walker who travels.
- 0:41 – 0:50 – Even as Quis leaves Melo to hedge out and help, he recovers quickly enough to get his left hand at Melo's three-point attempt. He also jumps to the side of Melo, eliminating any shot of getting a foul drawn.
- 0:51 – 1:05 – Here we see one of the mistakes by Quis. As he successfully fights through a series of screens, he eventually overplays Melo who quickly cuts to the basket. Quis immediately realizes his gambling mistake by giving the "my bad" signal.
- 1:06 – 1:25 – With the half coming to a close, Melo is waiting on the post again, with Quis having his arms up, angling his body to a slight overplay to Melo's right side to make the post-entry pass difficult. Melo uses his size advantage to eventually get the ball, but Quis again cuts off the baseline and forces him to the middle. Melo pushes off a little, but Quis again contests the shot with the left hand as Melo misfires.
Quis 2nd Half Defense on Melo
- 0:00 – 0:17 – Picking up Melo 3/4 court, Quis fights through a soft screen at half court. Here, all he needs to do is create even a little pressure to Melo as the ball handler to give Rondo enough time to snake in for the steal and breakaway lay-up.
- 0:18 – 0:27 – Melo is again trying to do work on Quis in the low post. Quis again does a good job with the lower body and forces him to the middle. Not a bad approach by Marquis to try and take a charge, but he gets whistled for the block. Debatable.
- 0:28 – 0:36 – Melo gets the ball on the left elbow. Marquis again establishes his position first as the aggressor. And once again, Melo has a tough time making anything out of it and Quis gets a hand up (albeit the incorrect one) and forces Melo to pass.
- 0:37 – 0:50 – The Knicks try to get Melo going on the low post again. Once again, Marquis has already established ownership of the spot, and Melo hesitates for a second and misfires on the turn-around fade-away jumper.
- 0:51 – 1:00 – As Toney Douglas passes to Melo on the run, Melo tries to go baseline but Quis cuts him off. KG is helping towards the middle, so Melo retreats back to the baseline after spotting KG. Quis uses excellent footwork in combination with one arm up to avoid a cheap foul. As Quis gives him the baseline this time (because KG is there to help) Melo has no place to go and has to kick it out. It turns out to be a smart play as Douglas drills a three. Still, you can't ask for better defense on Melo than what Quis provided.
- 1:01 – 1:39 – Melo is bringing the ball up, but backing his way into Quis. This is a trick ball handlers will use as an extra precaution to protect the ball and avoid getting pick-pocketed straight up. It also shows an obvious screen is being set for Melo. As Amare Stoudemire sets the screen, KG is able to show and recover (one of the best in the business at this), avoiding the switch that NY was hoping for. This would allow Melo to be at the top of the key, straight up with KG, creating an advantage for Melo to take KG off the dribble. But Quis doesn't switch and smartly stays with Melo. Again, Quis is fronting Melo, creating a tough angle for Douglas to pass him the ball. As Melo gets the ball, he quickly makes his move and Quis pulls a Rondo-gamble-poke and steals it. Except he's whistled for the foul. Again, this is quite debatable, but to me, he's called for the foul because it looks like a foul based on Melo's reaction.
So we can see here how important Quis' defense is. It's amazing that he's even back on the court this season but with the loss of Jeff Green, and Paul Pierce for the time being, Marquis will have his hands full. Next up: LeBron James and possibly Dwyane Wade.