Small Forward Matchup: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson vs. Carmelo Anthony
Without a doubt, the Knicks hold the advantage at this position. Carmelo Anthony is arguably a top five small forward in the NBA. Recently, he had a slip in production, but he is still one of the best. Last season, he averaged 21.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, and a career-high 4.2 assists per game. This matchup should not be about what ‘Melo can do, but what the Nets can do to stop him.
The Nets’ solution: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Hollis-Jefferson did not play much last season due to an ankle injury he suffered. But coming into his second season, he hopes to improve on what he did last year. One of the reasons the Nets trade for Hollis-Jefferson is his ability to defend. At 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds with a wingspan of 7-foot-2, Hollis-Jefferson has the tools to be an elite defender in the NBA. This is what the Nets will need, considering the NBA’s best play the small forward position.
Due to Hollis-Jefferson being in his second season and ‘Melo being a 15-year veteran, Anthony has the clear advantage over RHJ. With that said, the Nets will meet with the Knicks four times every year, and this will be good experience for Jefferson to go up against the NBA’s best multiple times.