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New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony to Train with Hakeem Olajuwon

July 7th, 2013 at 5:40 PM
By Kenneth DeJohn

Carmelo Anthony will train with Houston Rockets legend and Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon for a one-week session in August, reports ESPN.com. Anthony isn't the only New York Knicks's player to ask Olajuwon for help, as Amar'e Stoudemire will also go to Olajuwon during a one-week session this summer. It's unclear as to whether or not the two will go together.

'Carmelo Anthony' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Olajuwon, known for his all-world post game and defensive skills in the paint, has mentored many NBA big men over the past several seasons. It's not a huge story to find out that even more players are asking him for his assistance, but it's great news for the Knicks that Anthony is seeking the help of one of the best big men of all time.

Anthony became the Knicks' full-time power forward last season. He isn't your typical big man in terms of physical stature, but his height and all-around skill set made the switch a real possibility for head coach Mike Woodson. Now, Anthony is slated to start next season in that role.

Anthony is already one of the best pure scorers in the NBA. He can shoot contested jumpers with the best shooters in the NBA and has the ball-handling ability to create nearly any shot he wants—not to mention is ability to hit a fade away jumper.

Now, it's only logical to assume that Anthony will feature a much-improved post game. Olajuwon will teach Anthony how to use his body and ball-handling skills to get the best of bigger defenders. Despite his skills, Anthony will be over-matched at times by larger players. Using his smaller size and quickness to his advantage will be key.

Anthony already featured a decent post game and was never afraid to use it. He led all traditional small forwards with 391 post-up plays. That led to 364 points. As a power forward, he'll need to get comfortable doing that even more.

Perhaps the biggest gains Anthony can make through his training will be on defense. Olajuwon is a top-10 defender in the history of the NBA. Even if he gives Anthony small tips, the Knicks' superstar should improve immensely.

Anthony's defensive shortcomings have always appeared to be because of a lack of effort, rather than a lack of ability. He saves nearly all of his energy for offense. Olajuwon could attempt to change that mentality.

Only good things can come out of the pairing of Anthony and Olajuwon, and the Knicks will certainly reap the benefits of Anthony's new post game next season.

 

Tags: Basketball, Carmelo Anthony, Hakeem Olajuwon, Mike Woodson, NBA, New York, New York Knicks

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