ESPN New York breaks down Carmelo Anthony’s shooting woes in the series, particularly in isolation sets:
In the regular season, Anthony was in isolation on 26 percent of Knicks’ plays that ended with a field goal attempt, free throw or turnover from the All-Star. He had a 41.8 field goal percentage on such plays, according to data compiled by ESPN Stats & Information.
In the playoffs, Anthony has been in isolation on 43 percent of plays that end with the ball in his hand and has shot just 31 percent from the floor on those plays.
The iso-heavy offense seemed to hurt the Knicks on Sunday. Anthony was in isolation 49 percent of the time in Game 4. He shot 10-for-35 from the floor.
I’m not trying to diminish Melo’s impact on this series because he’s averaging 33 ppg and scored some big buckets to squash mini-runs the Celtics mustered in Games 1-3.
But those numbers are awful.
The more Melo shoots, the less damage inflicted by Raymond Felton (I can’t believe I just typed those words). Look what happened at the end of Game 4:
But his opportunities late in Sunday’s game seemed to come at the expense of Raymond Felton. Felton scored 16 points on eight shots in the third quarter to help the Knicks rebound from a 20-point deficit. In the fourth quarter and overtime, he took a combined six shots. Anthony, on the other hand, went 4-for-14 in the fourth quarter and OT.
Felton is averaging 17.8 ppg on 48% shooting. Gasp.
It’s hard to draw any conclusions from Game 4 because of J.R. Smith’s suspension. And the Knicks did win 54 games relying on the Melo isolation play.
But I think the Celtics would be better served with Melo gunning all game. Let him hoist 40 on Wednesday night.