1. If Melo is a black hole on offense, he not only sucks in the ball, but the defense too. Few players attract as much defensive attention as Melo, and that obviously frees space for his floormates.
2. Most opponents guard Melo with their best wing defender. That means Melo’s teammates are guarded by relatively lesser defenders.
3. Every time the shot clock is on the verge on expiring – a common occurrence for even the best-run offenses – the Knicks try to get the ball to Melo. As they should. He’s more likely to score in those situations than any other Knick. By accepting all those necessary low-efficiency shots, Melo protects the efficiency of his teammates.
Per Synergy, Melo's passes to spot-up shooters out of double-teams have led to an 77.3% effective field-goal rate -- best in the NBA.
Anthony’s teammates shoot 47.6% (126-of-264) after receiving one of his passes, much better than their 43.4% (1,203-of-2,772) mark in other situations.
Effective field-goal percentages compare for all 11, with Melo on (orange) and off (blue)
Everytime people call Melo a blackhole. It's CLEAR AS DAY that they never watch the Knicks. Keep reading your bleacher reports.
The year before Anthony joined the Nuggets, they ranked dead last in the N.B.A. in offensive efficiency (points scored per possession) on their way to winning just 17 games. But their offensive efficiently ranking shot up to 8th in the league in Anthony’s rookie season and has remained roughly at that level since.
These effects produce a profound increase in the efficiency of Anthony’s supporting cast when he is on the floor. In the 135 games that he played with the Nuggets, for instance, Allen Iverson’s True Shooting Percentage was 55.9 percent – much better than the 51.2 TS% that Iverson, a notoriously inefficient shooter, posted outside of Denver over the course of his career.
In fact, this is true of almost every Nugget who has played a sufficient number of minutes with Anthony. I identified 16 players who have accumulated least 2,000 minutes with the Nuggets in years when Anthony was on the team, and have also played at least 2,000 minutes in the N.B.A. without Anthony (either because they were playing for a different team or because they were on the Nuggets before Anthony’s rookie season). All but 2 of the players – Marcus Camby and Voshon Lenard – posted a higher TS% playing with Anthony than without him, and on average, he improved his teammates’ TS% by 3.8 points (to 55.0 percent from 51.2 percent).
The effect of a player who improves the rest of his team’s TS% by 3.8 points is extremely substantial: it is works out to their scoring about 5 or 5.5 additional points per game solely on the basis of this efficiency gain. That, in turn, translates into about 15 additional wins per season for an average team, according to a commonly-used formula. This is how Anthony creates most of his value — not in the shots he takes himself, but in the ones he creates for his teammates – and some of the “advanced” formulas completely miss it.
Two great articles to shoot down the haters.