Let’s get one thing straight, Chandler’s ceiling is no where near Melo’s. Melo repeatedly does what Will did last night. If you think Will is a better defender, maybe I’ll give him the slight edge. But Melo is a special talent who knows how to put the ball in the basket in the fourth quarter. He can take pressure off of Amar’e and he can learn to be a better defender. He has the tools. He also knows how to do what he does while prepping his body for the playoffs, where he has played 45 games, despite only getting out of the 1st round once in 7 years. They have lost to the Spurs, the Lakers twice and the Jazz. They have also been tripped up by the Timberwolves and Clippers, in his earlier days.
Let’s say Chandler and Gallinari reach their fulll potential. When will that be? Next year? The year after? Maybe Chandler is already there. He’s a heck of a kid and a heck of a talent.
But he’s not Melo. Melo and Amar’e don’t lose to the Cavs on the road. They don’t lose at home to Philly. And most importantly, they can at least compete against Orlando and Miami with Amar’e at the absolute top of his game.
Obviously the idea is to keep everyone, but that can’t happen. But this much I know. This team, even with a tweek here and there, is not beating Miami, Orlando or Boston this year in a 7 game series unless each have significant injuries. They can scratch, claw and shoot their way into games and have a chance, but they won’t win. Just like the early 90s Knicks against Airness and Sitting Bull Pippen, the Knicks lacked the talent despite how much you loved Starks and Mason.