The New York Knicks stormed back to even their semifinal series with the Indiana Pacers earlier this week, but there are still question marks about how long they’ll be able to be dominant in the playoffs. One of those question marks is tattooed directly on Carmelo Anthony’s shoulder, because how that shoulder holds up will determine how far the Knicks go in the postseason.
Melo on his left shoulder: “It’s alright. At this point I’m living with it.” He’ll continue to wear the pad. “That’s my protection.” #Knicks
— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) May 9, 2013
Melo says his shoulder is “alright” and it clearly didn’t hinder him in his 32 point Game 2 performance against Indiana. But while Knicks fans are puffing out their chests and letting the issue of Melo’s shoulder roll off them, we must rewind the series back to Game 1 and ask ourselves if that shoulder had anything to do with Melo’s performance in that game?
If it did, it seems as though it’s a matter of a few points difference. Melo posted 27 points and grabbed 11 boards in the Game 1 loss and he was arguably the only guy doing anything for New York.
But if the Knicks’ championship dream rest on that shoulder of Melo’s, how big of a factor will it play if the weight begins to become to much for the All-Star to bear.
The return of Amare Stoudemire in Game 3 will no doubt alleviate some of the pressure on Melo to carry this team. However, the shoulder situation is one to monitor as we’ve seen in very high profile cases over the last two postseasons that all it takes is one wrong step and you’re all of a sudden without your superstar.
If Knicks fans think they’re immune because Melo has dropped almost 60 points in the first two games of the series, just ask Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook how their bad steps are treating them.
New York has enough to get past the Pacers, but they’ve been good in years past as well but haven’t been able to capture anything special. Right now it looks like that’s all changing but it all rests on Melo’s shoulder and its one that might not be able to take as much weight as you may think.