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Mike D’Antoni gets guys paid

Decoding a favorite NBA truism with added Carmelo flavor.

You got yourself paid.
You say I get you paid.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

So we reach the point in which a twelve month league (and if you’ve been following the NBA a long time did you ever think this would happen?) runs out of stuff to talk about.

Sure, there are fine pieces like Jackie McMullan’s excellent series on mental health in the NBA, but to be frank, the actual basketball material is thin on the ground. NFL and college football have taken center stage, but it also seems their resumption has been embraced with reluctance in many quarters.

So whilst thinking of things to say regarding the NBA in this fallow time, I considered two things. The phrase “Mike D’Antoni gets guys paid.” and also, noted guaranteed fiasco Carmelo Anthony.

First, let’s look at “MDA gets guys paid.” He does.

I could show my work. It’s not necessarily dispositive, but it is convincing to me. This piece runs more along the lines of a thought experiment, anyway.

So let’s think about how MDA gets guys paid. They score a lot, mainly. They also tend to score efficiently. Lots of efficient scoring leads to winning players. Winning players win games. We can talk about defense, and it is important, but basketball is conceptually fundamentally different than almost any other sport.

In some sports, say, soccer, the question often is “Can you score at all?”. That can apply in baseball when shutouts occur with some frequency. The NFL has it’s 9-3 outcomes. In the NBA it is rare that each side doesn’t score at least 40 times a game. The basketball question is not “Can you score?” but “Can you score enough?

MDA players can often answer that question in the affirmative. That leads to money.

But let’s walk a step back. MDA players tend to score efficiently. Why? I submit that it is because MDA’s offense puts them in a position to do so. Add that to the Rockets operational philosophy (or cult) of efficient shot taking, and you have a recipe for scoring that could well be described as “brutal” in its efficiency.

So here’s the thought experiment: What happens when you put a Carmelo Anthony, who tends to make the good shots (efficient shots) he takes at a fine rate, in an offense that more or less only allows good shots?

You could say Carmelo won’t do that.

But consider: he was waived. A team chose to eat his $27 million deal. It ended up being Atlanta, but that’s beside the point, OKC ate the deal with Dennis Schroder’s contact. (And how much do you have to dislike a player to move him in order to eat Carmelo’s deal?) There’s more of Carmelo’s career behind than ahead of him. His last, best, chance at relevancy lies in Houston. It lies in doing what he’s asked to do. The Rockets have no risk in his signing.

Chris Paul, one of the NBA’s finest mid range shooters saw his mid range attempts decline a great deal in Houston, in favor of still more efficient threes and layups. Chris Paul is one of Carmelo’s best friends, and is unquestionably a team leader.

If Carmelo embraces The Rockets Way, and his shooting regime becomes a medley of his best shots, rather than his worst, where does that land? I’m guessing it falls somewhere between “Handy” and “Terrifying”.

“Olympic Melo” is a product not of fervent nationalism, but of great PGs and the right shots. Does this describe anything familiar to you?

MDA might get Carmelo paid one last time.


Which Melo?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Good Melo.
    (510 votes)
  • 7%
    Bad Melo.
    (61 votes)
  • 14%
    It’s never bad to be Melo.
    (109 votes)
  • 11%
    You know who’s Melo? Mavs in three are mellow.
    (89 votes)
769 votes total Vote Now