The Milwaukee Bucks announced on Monday that Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) will miss training camp while he recovers from surgery he had in May, but the good news is that Luc doesn't have much left to prove in terms of what he can offer the Bucks when the games count. I've already shown how LRMAM has shut down big-name NBA scorers like LeBron James and Kevin Durant, and now this series continues with a look at his effect on New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony.
In case you need to catch up on exactly what this defensive study is all about, be sure to check out the rest of the stream content, including my introductory story, the LeBron James breakdown and a follow-up piece on LRMAM vs. Kevin Durant. Here is a comprehensive look at how the Prince handled Melo over the past three seasons, followed by my notes and observations:
Notes & Observations
- I started this study because I wanted to know more about how LRMAM has affected top scorers -- it's a simplistic way to test his defensive reputation and try to gain some insight into the value of perimeter defenders in the NBA -- and he has impressed me at every stage of the process. LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony are supremely talented, but they all score in very different ways and have very different ways of approaching the game. The one constant is that LRMAM knows how to suppress the best skills of each player and undermine their offensive production.
- Melo and LRMAM shared the floor for 276 minutes over the past three seasons (that's more than five full games), and Luc caused plenty of problems for Mr. Iso in the painted area. The Knicks' designated scorer pushed into the paint on plenty of plays, but the Bucks' designated stopper did well to cut off the best angles and easiest looks. In sum, Anthony only converted 32-79 FGs (40.5 percent) in the paint during stints with LRMAM on the hardwood. That's a damn fine job by Mbah a Moute.
- The mid-range game is something where most people can't hold Anthony down, but it's a spot on the floor that just isn't dangerous enough to cause concern. Melo at least partially holds himself down my sticking to mid-range attempts, where it's tough to draw fouls and conversion rates are lower than almost any other spot. Luc funneled him into tough shots on a huge chunk of possessions, as more than half of Anthony's attempts came from mid-range or the non-restricted paint area.
- These numbers are getting ridiculous. I'm genuinely surprised the impact has been this big. Will the trend continue with Danny Granger, Joe Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce? Stay tuned.