Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks and whether chuckers win championships: A statistical analysis

Fibbs walked into the bar that afternoon, his orange Knicks cap tilted backwards, gold chain around his neck and Amare Stoudemire jersey (sans cast) worn proudly.  He had been drinking all day and was smiling, giddy almost.  After all, why wouldn’t he be?  His Knickerbockers had just won their first playoff game in eleven years, an accomplishment Knicks fans were begrudgingly proud to celebrate.  Fibbs’ joy was short-lived, however, as the Knicks could only muster that lone, post-season win.  They were dismissed by the Miami Heat the very next game.

The proud yet highly dysfunctional Knickerbockers franchise has talent, but boy, are they a mess.  Coach fired mid-season, their hundred million dollar man’s hand stitched up like a softball, their most popular player on the sidelines still unproven and their best player taking way too many shots.  It’s enough to make Phil Jackson’s stomach churn.

I don’t mean to turn this into a bash Carmelo Anthony post, nor am I insinuating that with more balanced scoring the Knicks could have beaten the Heat.  They couldn’t have, but at least they could have made it more interesting.

There are two things we know about the Miami Heat.  They’re susceptible down low and they are the most dangerous, fastbreak team in the league, thriving on opponents’ ill-advised shots and missed field goals.  The Knicks didn’t do enough of one and did too much of the other.  Perhaps Coach Woodson never got that memo.  Hence their first-round exit.

After watching Carmelo launch 26 shots in a Game Two loss, while teammate Amare Stoudemire took only nine (ten, if you include his final shot on a locker room fire extinguisher), I started thinking about the importance of balanced scoring when it comes to winning championships.  Certainly, Carmelo taking over one-third of New York’s shots could not bode well for their success.

So I decided to take a look at some of the most famous chuckers in NBA history and see how their teams fared over the years.  I also looked at a number of different championship teams to see if I could find a trend because clearly, what the Knicks are doing, ain’t workin’.


  • Teams highlighted in blue denote Knicks-Heat series

  • Teams highlighted in yellow denote NBA Champions

I’m not sure the data proves that balanced scoring alone wins championships, but it definitely doesn’t hurt.  I’ll let you decide for yourself.  Unless you have Michael Jordan on your team, it appears prudent to not have one player taking over one-quarter of your teams shots.

Your welcome, Coach Woodson.

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32 Replies to “Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks and whether chuckers win championships: A statistical analysis”

  1. Pingback: Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks and whether chuckers win championships: A statistical analysis - BallHyped, NBA | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Ah, yes, Pest.

    Finally, we disagree. defines the verb “chuck” as “to toss or throw with a quick motion.”

    Do you actually disagree that Carmelo took an inordinate amount of shots in the series, all the while not doing so in the flow of a well-planned, offensive scheme that could have beaten, or at least challenged, the Miami Heat?

    He shot 42% from the field in that series, brother, 22% from behind the arc.

    That’s not going to get it done.

    Stoudemire shot 55% for that series, man.

  3. Chris

    is simply an out and out scorer , he’ll get his points anyway he can . Be it by hook or by crook . That’s his game summed up in a nutshell …….. he can’t defend worth a lick and that’s in spite of the idiocy of these analysts saying that he’s stepped up that part of his game !

    So what are your thoughts on FSU leaving the ACC for the Big 12 ? Money cures everything as they say don’t you think ? So when does UF leave the SEC ?

    Florida State isn’t leaving the ACC for the Big 12 … at least not today

    AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — Florida State is not joining the Big 12 Conference. I guarantee it. Carve it on a stone tablet and rest it against Bobby Bowden’s statue outside Doak Campbell Stadium or plant it in the Sod Cemetery.

    There is no way, no how Florida State is leaving the ACC for the Big 12.

    At least not this week. Next week? Well, who knows.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned in trying to keep up with the never-ending musical chairs, better known as conference realignment, it’s never rule out anything.

    On Saturday “anything” happened.

    First, Florida State Board of Trustees chairman Andy Haggard ripped the ACC’s newly signed media rights deal — worth $17 million annually per school through 2026-27 — telling that FSU’s school board “unanimously” favored “seeing what the Big 12 might have to offer.”

    That same day FSU coach Jimbo Fisher tossed napalm on the Big 12 speculation.

    “There have been no official talks, but I think you always have to look out there to see what’s best for Florida State,” Fisher told The Orlando Sentinel. “If that [jumping to the Big 12] is what’s best for Florida State, then that’s what we need to do.”

    On Monday, at the opening day of the ACC’s spring meetings in Amelia Island, Fisher told reporters he’s not “a decision maker” and not the one that ultimately would make a decision on FSU’s future home.


    Click on link to read in full .


    I’m sure that for the “right price ” Jeremy Foley and Bernie Machen will uproot the tent for that move ! Unless a broadcast network offers them a multi-billion deal (ESPN’s joint $3 billion venture with the University of Texas ) h , not unlike the Longhorns . Your thoughts ?

    With regard to <a href="; Strasburg , why I disagree ___ simply because these kids (pitchers -phenoms) are thrown into the Majors once their arbitration clock is ticking and rarely do some of the teams actually step up to the plate and retain those players ( &position players) . It may have worked out well for now with the Rays and Longo but when it comes to a pitcher it’s a rarity . See Scott Kazmir as one premise behind my stance . Kazmir is out of the game and hasn’t pitched since 2010 . Former phenom Kerry Wood just retired after 14 seasons with a less than stellar record . The only memorable game he had over the course of his career was that 20 K game for the Cubs and that’s about it.

    The Nats are doing the fans a disservice with their stance. Let’s put it this way Strasburg has already undergone Tommy-John surgery and he’s only in the game since 2009. So what does that suggest to you ?

    tophatal ………

  4. Al…

    Simply calling someone a scorer is no excuse for being largely responsible for his team’s failures. Trust me, I’m a Carmelo fan, but I also think his offense needs to come within the context of a solid gameplan and he obviously needs a coach that can make that happen.

    Re: conference realignment, I’d generally say I’m going to wait to see how everything shakes out… but who knows how long that could actually take!

    And I saw that Strasburg went yard yesterday. Maybe Washington can just DH him to extend his career, he he.

  5. Whether it’s the balanced scoring issue or not, I think it’s a problem that Carmelo can play his absolute best and the Knicks are still just a mediocre, low seeded playoff team.

  6. One thing I’ll say about Carmelo chucking all those shots is that noone else was taking them. He had to bail them out with less than 5 seconds on the clock a lot, and they weren’t that makable shots. That being said, I’d be frustrated with him if I were a Knicks fan…

  7. CR…

    I hope it didn’t come off as I’m blaming all of the Knicks’ woes on Carmelo. I think Woodson, and of course D’Antoni, have to shoulder a lot of the blame.

    But remember when Lin was in, and ‘Melo was out and everyone was having those conversations about whether the two could co-exist when ‘Melo returned?

    Why are those conversations we’re even having?

  8. I’d say this for ‘melo once he arrives home after practice he does get to lay up with La La Velazquez . So one part of his game has to have improved don’t you think ?

    Do you remember when “Zeke” (Isiah Thomas ) was running things as the GM and coach of the Knicks ? What makes anyone think that the organization has really improved all that much since then ? Be honest .

    James Dolan and Ernie Grunwald
    are now the NBA’s answer to Abbott & Costello . They’re making me laugh a hell of a lot !

    Collegiate athletics is no longer about competitiveness ….. it’s about going after the “Almighty Dollar” . These conferences and their commissioners are so full of fecal matter that it makes me frigging gag . NCAA President Mark Emmert says he wants everyone playing off a level playing field . Is he frigging kidding ? The NCAA along with the broadcast outlets are the main reason that collegiate athletics is such a god damn mess and so corrupt .

    Strasburg went yard ? Wow ! Who was it the Nats were playing ? Oh the Orioles .. well that explains a lot doesn’t it . I was under the misguided belief that they were playing someone good ! The Orioles will deflate like a lead balloon in the coming months. Orioles’ owner Peter Angelos will suddenly awake from his deep sleep and ask for some Pepto-bismol and laxatives .

    The excitement of the postseason isn’t entirely lost on me but I do feel for Pau Gasol . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!! There are rumors circling that Clay Aiken wants to challenge him to a “fist fight” .

    tophatal …………

  9. Chris,

    You bring up some valid stats that are definitely eye-opening. Another guy that came with ‘Melo’s M.O. was the late PPMaravich. He never won at any level.

    Why is Tophat Alan bad-mouthing the Orioles? Trend is your friend. The Showalter crew is a cash cow.

  10. Al…

    The only way I’d say the Knicks have improved is that they actually went out and added big name players. They spent the money. They just need to make sure that those parts add up to a greater hole.

    And before you trash the Orioles, Al, need I remind you they’re in first place in their division.

  11. Well, Al, it’s back to the drawing board for the Busses as their Lakers have now gone fishin’.

    Care to wager Pau Gasol will be on that roster next year?

    It’s not looking good for the scarved Spaniard.

  12. RB…

    Did you know that towards the end of his career, the Celtics offered to pick up one last contract year on Maravich, who respectfully declined as he felt he was getting older.

    The Celtics won it all that year.

  13. I totally agree with your “comments” observation Anthony can still fill it up as he does, but it has to come from a sensible gameplan that at least gives him the best opportunity to get his best shots available…which means making other guys credible threats either by play sets…talent…or both. The best use of a sharpshooter like Melo is surrounding him with open guys who are wide open and also make shots…running plays…not one-on-one all Anthony all the time.

  14. Chris

    The play in the AL East this early in the season borders on being horrendous . All of the teams are barely playing with any resolve . I’m still sticking with the premise that come this August the Orioles won’t be in a the divisional chase or for a wildcard berth within the AL !

    The only surprise for me concerning the Lakers were the post-game interviews by Bynum and MWP. Bynum stating that he doesn’t care in essence whether or not he’s back with the Lakers (team opted to take the $16.3 million [Bynum]for next season) . And “Peace” stating that he’ll be back better than ever next season . He’s become half-a-step slower and his basketball IQ has dropped precipitously low . Not only that but Harden , Westbrook and Durant now believe that MWP just happens to be their “very own personal bi#ch ” . I don’t believe that there’s much more that needs to be said on the matter !

    Down goes Van Gundy ……… that was no sucker-punch . LOL,LOL,LOL !!! I guess now we’ll really get to see whether or not he cared about being fired from a coaching position within the NBA ? As for Otis Smith ……… there’s a dung heap that I personally would like bury his a_s under !

    tophatal …………..

  15. The Knicks have spent money they’ve contributed almost $60 million towards the bank balances of ‘melo, Stoudemire , and Tyson Chandler and that was merely for this season . Next year it’ll be even more .

    I hear the CFO of JP Morgan Chase now wants to work for the Knicks .

    tophatal …………..

  16. SA…

    I know they play different positions, but let’s look at Russell Westbrook in comparison to Carmelo.

    Aside from being insanely talented, Westbrook’s a guy who we’ve come to know as a player who might chuck one up there a little too often.

    These playoffs, Westbrook is averaging 24 points a game on 47% shooting. That’s not too shabby.

    ‘Melo averaged just shy of 28 on 42% shooting. ‘Melo’s an 8 year pro, Westbrook’s been in the league three years.

    I’d like to see ‘Melo make his game a little more efficient, that’s all. That’d certainly help the Knicks’ chances.

  17. Al…

    Despite their solid starting pitching, the Rays have been saddled with the injury bug. I fully expect them to be there at the end of the season, but how insane would it be if the Jays and Orioles were competing for that wild card spot instead of the Sox and Yanks?

    Tough out for the Lakers. The Thunder are just too good before their time. And now it’s off to San Antonio. You gotta hand it to Scotty Brooks and his crew though. Knocking off the vets of the league, i.e., Dallas, L.A. and now potentially the Spurs? How many championships have those teams combined for over the past fifteen years?

    And Stan Van, Al? I’ll have my final thoughts up on that whole ordeal once they’re all processed.

  18. Al…

    What surprises me is that the Knicks dropped all that money on their frontcourt with no concern at all for their guard play.

    Takes five to tango, bra.

  19. And thank you, sir.

    Speaking of baseball cards, once upon a time, as a child, I wanted to grow up and be a statistician.

    Then I took Intro to Statistics in college and decided against it.

    I refer to it as my standard deviation.

  20. The play in the AL East this early in the season borders on being horrendous . All of the teams are barely playing with any resolve . I’m still sticking with the premise that come this August the Orioles won’t be in a the divisional chase or for a wildcard berth within the AL !

    Alan I gotta call you on your above statement.Where did you come up with that? The AL East is the strongest division in the American League!! Compare their records through Sunday 5/21 versus the rest of the league. You might see the light.

    BALT 27-18 .628

    TBAY 25-18 .581

    TOR 24-19 .558

    RSX 21-21 .500

    NYY 21-21 .500

  21. I think what he means, Ron, is that the teams in that division, except for maybe Baltimore, are underachieving. At least that’s what I took from his comments.

    Can’t really argue with all five teams being above .500.

  22. I just think the negative hyperbole doesn’t fit. He’s too smart for that.

  23. C’mon, Ron.

    You and I both know Al is about two things and two things only. Hyperbole and big booty.

    Not that you can blame the guy.

    Perhaps he’s been watching too much Stephen A. Smith.

  24. The Al East is beating each other up. HOWEVER, they are 65-42(5/21) versus the rest of the league and over .500 versus the National league. That is borderline dominance NOT HORRENDOUS. I hear the crickets and will move on.

  25. Yeah, he hasn’t come back.

    Oh well.

    Good stuff tho, RB. I didn’t realize they were that good against other competition. Not that it surprises me one bit. They generally are.

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