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Carmelo Anthony: “I think we’re playing to lose”

Dec 2, 2013, 10:02 AM EST

Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks Getty Images

I’m not sure what more can be said about the Knicks play right now after nine straight losses.

Carmelo Anthony was searching for a way to describe New York’s play and was rightfully harsh in his assessment after a loss Sunday at home to a New Orleans team that had to play most of the game without Anthony Davis. Here is his quote, via ESPNNewYork.com.

“I think we’re playing to lose rather than playing to win right now,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ 103-99 loss to New Orleans on Sunday. “When you lose games the way we’ve been losing them at home, on the road, you start thinking a lot. You start playing a little tense, you start playing on your heels.”

The idea the Knicks are thinking too much and not just reacting was echoed by coach Mike Woodson.

“I thought coming down the stretch, we played on our heels. The [eight-game losing streak] we were looking at here was staring at us in the face [and] instead of relaxing and just playing, we just didn’t make one play,” Woodson said.

Anthony looked like a guy who was pressing Sunday. He realizes how much falls on his shoulders — there is no Raymond Felton/Tyson Chandler pick-and-roll to create shots, J.R. Smith remains cold following surgery, and while Andrea Bargnani gets them points he’s not a shot creator nor efficient. All that said, their offense is basically scoring at the same rate it has all season.

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The more serious problem remains the 27th ranked defense over the last 9 games (using points per possession, stats via NBA.com). Without Chandler (who could be out past Christmas) there is no good way to solve this, and there are no real assets worth trading to get a decent replacement. It falls to Kenyon Martin and he can only do so much.

The Knicks are going to start playing better at some point and rack up wins, and as bad as they’ve been they are just 3.5 games out of a playoff spot in a down East. But when they are going to turn it around and if they can dig out of this early season hole remains the questions.

  1. klownboy - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    I think this is the beginning of the end for coach Mike Woodson. And that is a shame, because he is a good coach with a bad roster (save Melo, of course). So much for my prediction of my Knicks making the playoffs.

    http://wp.me/p1gCK6-KY

    • knightrider1755 - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      From Atlantic Division champs to Atlantic Division chumps in less than a year.

    • topdawg4ever - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      It ain’t Woodson’s fault. What can you do with a team that has no defense and ONE ballhog who doesn’t pass the ball?

  2. themagicfanguy - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    …um, ‘Melo IS the bad roster. Between Melo and the black hole(Jr Smith) you’ve got enough bricks to build another MSG. Things won’t get much better as long as Melo is your #1 option.

  3. mimaiheatdynasty - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    This team will be blown up sometime this season, save Melo, JR, and Tyson, and Hardaway.

    • bougin89 - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      How are they going to do that?

      Stoudemire, Bargnani, and Felton are all negative value because of their contracts/play.

    • topdawg4ever - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      Get rid of Melo and JR.

  4. knightrider1755 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    If Melo thinks the Knicks are playing to lose then they’re doing a great job because that’s exactly what they are doing.

    • djeter220 - Dec 2, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      Good one.

  5. dysraw1 - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Tim Hardaway jr must play he’s the best outside option. they should consider signing another big Earl Barron, Jerome Jordan somebody. Tyson may not be right for a minute

  6. zaza1975 - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Caramelo doesn’t make any player better . Knicks should traded him .We see Soudemire with the knicks young team.
    Anthony is our problems if he shoots more , he will put more points and everybody forget what he miss . Please trade Jr Smith and Melo . Yesterday game Tim Hardward Jr was opened asking for the ball because he puts three 3 points and the building was proud of him and Melo want make name for himself shoot the ball .We are not asking him to do everything by himself . The pieces to be traded Felton , Smith and Caramelo

  7. roanboon - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    As long as the owner is making good money what else matters?

  8. hojo20 - Dec 2, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    NYK: Riggin’ for Wiggins….

    • n2thaizzo - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      This would be true if they had a first round pick. Denver gets their #1 thanks to the ‘Melo trade.

  9. doc305 - Dec 2, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Ownership and management are fundamentally important these days in the NBA. The NY clubs are showing that talent alone will not win you championships, let alone ball games. It’s easy to see that many of the players brought in by both teams were not told about what their role is or what was expected of them…case in point MWP said that he didn’t know weather his coach was aunt jemaima (sp?) or not.. I get that he is a joker and stuff, but it shows a clear lack of communication between the management and the players.
    When you hear players that come to play in Miami in the past few years all you hear them talk about is how they loved how they were recruited by Pat and Spo. Ray Allen talked about how he truly felt wanted. Battier, Greg Oden, R.Lewis were all brought in knowing what was expected of them. And all you ever hear from all of them how they believe in the system, trust the system. That begins and end with management.

    • topdawg4ever - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      Because you have Melo as the “leader” of a team that has no real options in defense or offense. What a mess.

  10. raiderdan69 - Dec 2, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Unless he teams up with a true number 1 and accepts he cant just throw up bricks he is never going to get a ring. Shumpert is the type of squad player every good team needs but yet again the knicks are going to mess this up…

  11. JHathwell - Dec 2, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    The irony here is that the only shot the Knicks have of digging themselves out of this mess they are in is to trade Anthony now. Even if he leaves in FA this summer, they are still a capped out team with no assets, and if he stays they are locked into this roster until the summer of ’15.

    Basically, the plan right now is to sell Carmelo on the idea that help is coming 2 1/2 years from now. Until then, they’ll be an average team at best.

    Helluva plan.

  12. jbeagles23 - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Keep on chucking melo. Does he ever shoot over 50 percent! In every box score its always something like 24 points on 8 of 24 shooting

  13. a069 - Dec 3, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    carmelo is a leader you his teammates cannot rely

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