Goodbye, Melo

Kevin McElroy wrote a great recap of the Knicks loss to the Bucks over at Knickerblogger.

My favorite line:

To say that he is selfish or lazy or disloyal or uncaring is simply to announce that you have not been watching the Knicks this season.

Melo has been the best player on the Knicks this season. Last year haters like me could argue that Tyson Chandler was better, but he’s been hurt and diminished this year.

The only other bright spot has been Tim Hardaway Jr., who is the most efficient scorer on the Knicks and has avoided turnovers, but has also defended terribly in his rookie season. All of the other guards on the team have been hurt, like Pablo Prigioni, or have regressed badly, like J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton.

Yes, Melo won back the Garden scoring record. But we knew he could score.

At various points this season, Melo has done everything. He’s always been capable of bulling his way to baskets, but he has also been the Knicks’ best offensive and defensive rebounder, and when Chandler, Andrea Bargnani, Kenyon Martin or Amare Stoudemire have gone down, he has been their sole ‘big’ defender pushing his steal and block rates to as high as they’ve ever been.

Last season will likely go down as the best of his career, but I will remember this year for all that he has taken on.

We all know Melo can opt out of his contract after this year. Whether he’s earned a raise is up for discussion.

But after this season, he’s earned the right to take other offers without drawing ire. And after how poorly his teammates have played, after how badly the front office has assembled the roster, after how poorly Mike Woodson has managed minutes, I wouldn’t blame him if he left.

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