NCAA Men's Basketball

Boeheim: Melo needs better supporting cast

05/21 7:09 PM

Jim Boeheim is convinced Carmelo Anthony will continue to fall short of a championship if the New York Knicks maintain the core of their current lineup.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim remains a big fan of Carmelo Anthony and closely follows the superstar NBA player who led his Orange to the 2003 national title.

But after Anthony's latest ouster from the playoffs, Boeheim is convinced the forward will continue to fall short of a championship if the New York Knicks maintain the core of their current lineup.

"Not on that team," Boeheim told the Syracuse Post-Standard over the weekend. "He did what he can do. He played very well the final game. Everybody's killing him, but Tyson Chandler just didn't try to catch the ball.

"He threw him the ball and Tyson Chandler went like this," Boeheim told the newspaper as he made a dodging motion in an office chair at the Carmelo K. Anthony Center. "He was wide open. He should have been looking for the ball right here. Kenyon Martin should have been looking for the ball.

"They both went like this," Boeheim said as he dodged again, according to the Post-Standard. "Carmelo gets turnovers and the announcers aren't smart enough to even think, 'Well, the guy should try to catch the ball.'"

Anthony capped the postseason with a 39-point performance in the Knicks' Game 6 loss to the Indiana Pacers. His season scoring average of 28.7 fell just short of his career high of 28.9 during the 2006-07 season with the Denver Nuggets.

"He can't do it by himself," Boeheim told ESPN's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" on Tuesday. "And by the way, neither has anyone else ... Go through the list and history. Every great player had a great player with him that's won an NBA title. I think you can look pretty closely at that."

Boeheim cited Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and all-time greats who had Hall of Fame-worthy complementary players during their championship runs.

"Do the Knicks, right now, as they're constituted right now, have a great player with Carmelo?" Boeheim said. "I'm not going to answer that. I'm just going to say that. I believe that he's good enough to win an NBA championship, but he needs another guy with him. Hopefully he'll get that opportunity with him some day."

During this postseason, he shot 40 percent from the floor in 12 postseason games after making 45 percent in the regular season, his third with the Knicks. Anthony got beat up in the playoffs, suffering a left shoulder injury that will require an MRI, according to general manager Glen Grunwald.

"When he went to New York, I remember telling him clearly that if you lose, it's going to be your fault no matter what scenario is out there," Boeheim said on "Mike & Mike". "That's what you have to deal with in New York when you're the star player."

Boeheim said the Knicks needed Anthony, Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith to play at the top of their games every game to have a chance at winning this season.

"Those guys weren't great players where they were and now they're asking them to be second and third options," Boeheim said, according to the Syracuse newspaper. "In Miami the second and third options are Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Your fourth option is Ray Allen, who is still in good shape. Your fifth option is Shane Battier, who is still a good player. The New York Knicks have who?"

But Boeheim's focus was on Chandler -- his former 2012 United States Olympic team player when Boeheim was an assistant coach -- as the reason for the Knicks' relative failures, saying "they're getting nothing but older."

"Tyson Chandler claims he never gets the ball. He doesn't try to get the ball," Boeheim said.

Information from ESPNNewYork.com contributor Ian Begley was used in this report.


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