Treasure my ass—one man's trash is another man's trash. You remember the Instagram that J.R. Smith reposted from @NBAMemes:
A photo posted by JR Smith (@teamswish) on May 14, 2015 at 9:14pm PDT
Let's stop that right now. Carmelo Anthony has always been one-dimensional. Always. He came into the league that way and he will leave that way. He's not LeBron and he never will be LeBron. Shit, it's pretty safe to assume that we won't be seeing another LeBron any time soon.
Want to know what happened to all that trash/treasure talk? All you have to do is look at how inefficient LeBron's 'treasure' has been in these Finals.
I bring this up because of an argument about Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith I have with my brother seemingly every weekend. Both of us are lifelong, diehard Knicks fans. He loves Iman Shumpert and hates J.R. with a passion. I miss J.R. for all the reasons he hates him, and I couldn't care less about Shump. Through all of his faults, Smith is still a valuable commodity. He's a gifted athlete that can score on a moment's notice, the perfect sixth man for a stacked starting five. But he's also mind-numbingly inefficient, and never met a bad shot he didn't like. If your team has to depend on him, may the Lord be with you.
Like J.R., Iman Shumpert is a gifted athlete who's notoriously inefficient on offense. Iman has the advantage of also being an above-average defender, but the difference is his defense has never been good enough to make up for his deficiencies on the other side of the ball. He's not Tony Allen, he's not Patrick Beverley, he's not Matt Barnes. Those guys can afford to be a liability on the offensive end. Shumpert can't.
Want to know what happened to all that trash/treasure talk? All you have to do is look at how inefficient LeBron's "treasure" has been in these Finals.
Check out Iman's stats:
During the first three rounds of the playoffs he was averaging 10 points, 5.4 boards, 1.4 assists, a steal, and about a block while playing 34.3 minutes a game:
During the Finals, so far?
Shump is putting up six points, four rebounds, 0.8 assists, 2.2 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 35.8 minutes through five games. He's shooting 27 percent from the field.
Hardly a guy Knicks fans should be crying about traded. The two steals per are cool and all but what are they worth when you're not shutting anybody down and you can't hit the ocean with a boat? I didn't trip when the Knicks traded him because a player like Iman can be drafted again. He's not one of a kind.
Now let's take a look at Da Gawd J.R. Smith in these playoffs.
Before the Finals he was putting up a respectable line. In 29.8 minutes he averaged 13.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.2 steals, and was shooting 45 percent from the field and 39 percent from three, respectively. All while missing two games for acting like a fucking idiot and being relied upon more heavily after Kevin Love went down in Game 4 of their first round series verses the Celtics.
How does he look now as the second option through five Finals games?
He falls off the goddamn efficiency cliff. Da Gawd's numbers are all down. He's putting up 10 points on 30 percent shooting from the field and 26 percent from three, grabbing 4.2 boards, dishing out one dime, and snatching 0.4 steals in 33.5 minutes.
Abysmal! A goddamn embarrassment.
To be fair, their numbers were doomed to look different in the Finals because Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving aren't healthy. But also because neither Iman nor J.R. are good enough to be second options. Smith validated my brother's hatred when he punched Boston's Jae Crowder during Game 4 of their first round series. No one can lift and drop a franchise like J.R. can. The Cavs should actually consider themselves lucky Chicago's offense was piss poor. If the Bulls had figured out how to put the ball in the basket with the trio of Pau Gasol, D. Rose, and Jimmy Butler, Cleveland might not even get to the Conference Finals.
Both players can contribute to a healthy Cavs squad without a doubt. They—along with Timofy Mozgov—saved Cleveland's season. But to act as if Carmelo Anthony should've won more with those two as the Knicks' second or third option is ignorant. As we pointed out, Melo has had little to no help during his career and yet managed to make the playoffs in the stacked Western Conference every year when he was with the Nuggets.
I am usually a staunch supporter of the jokes > facts Twitter community, but both former Knicks are stinking up the joint thus making all those Melo jokes and hot takes obsolete. Melo needs help, LeBron needs help, everybody needs help to win. LeBron has brought bums and scrubs to the Promised Land twice. But it's looking more and more like this second set of bums won't make it out alive either.
Treasure my ass.
Angel Diaz is a staff writer for Complex Media. Follow him @ADiaz456.