GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) - Even before needing five stitches above his left eye, Carmelo Anthony understood this could be painful.
Though the New York Knicks envisioned themselves as a dangerous team after trading for him, instead they’re two games under .500 since making the deal. And the more time they spend together, the worse they’ve played.
A team with Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, the NBA’s second-highest scoring duo, running Mike D'Antoni’s system, has endured three straight subpar offensive games, and offense is supposed to be the Knicks‘ strong suit.
“That’s something that I keep telling myself, I keep telling the guys on the team, that at the end of the day it’s going to get to where we want it to be at. And I’m not really too concerned about that,” Anthony said Tuesday after practice, his eye looking a little puffy after what he said was the first time he needed stitches.
“I’m confident in that, I’m positive about making that happen, making this whole thing work, and for the most part I know we’re losing games right now, but everybody seems like their energy is up, nobody is bowing their heads and feeling sad about anything because everybody knows this wasn’t going to be easy. This is a long road to get where we want to be at.”
It’s been much bumpier than anyone could have guessed.
New York fell to 7-9 since acquiring Anthony with Monday’s 96-86 loss to the Boston Celtics, when he was cut after colliding with Rajon Rondo while trying to steal a pass. The Knicks have dropped six of seven and at 35-35, will have a losing record for the first time since November if they lose Wednesday to an Orlando team that has already beaten them twice this season.
The Knicks talked of moving up to the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but instead have fallen behind Philadelphia into seventh after they held the No. 6 spot for more than three months.
A losing record is the norm in New York this time of year, with the Knicks in a franchise-worst stretch of nine straight losing seasons. But they have bigger goals this season, and they insist those plans are still intact.
“It really boils down to do you have a choice, and we don’t have a choice,” Stoudemire said. “You have to get it ready for the playoffs if you want to make things special out of this year.”
They have at times looked capable, rallying to beat the Heat in Miami in the third game after the trade, and blowing out likely playoff teams New Orleans and Atlanta.
New York was 6-3 with Anthony after his game-winning jumper at Memphis on March 9, but was routed at Dallas the next night before getting swept in a home-and-home series by eighth-place Indiana. Following a victory over the Grizzlies last week, the Knicks have dropped three straight, all in shockingly poor offensive performances for a team that ranks second in the league with 106.2 points per game.
Anthony was 2 of 12 for six points in a loss at Detroit on Friday, and the Knicks then managed only nine points in the first quarter of a loss at Milwaukee on Sunday. Just as they were in position to beat the Celtics on Monday, neither Anthony nor Stoudemire managed a field goal in the fourth quarter and the Knicks totaled just 35 points in the second half.
“You have to understand what we’re trying to accomplish in the fourth quarter and right now, there’s not a clear understanding and we’re trying to clear it up,” D'Antoni said.View Entire Story
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
The young drop coverage to avoid higher premiums
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
We welcome you to the intimate and personal thoughts on the news and events we, as editors, watch, read, and discuss with our writers every day.
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Looking at pop culture, politics and social issues.
Political commentary and literary criticism in an era of eroding liberty
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc