Carmelo Anthony knows he must pass on too much shooting
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- For Carmelo Anthony to make it out of the first round for only the second time in his 10-year career Wednesday night, he needs to shoot better and involve his teammates more than he did in the Game 4 loss.
That shouldn't be too difficult, he said.
"I had one of those days," Anthony said Tuesday after an early afternoon Knicks practice. "I don't think I've missed 25 shots in a long, long time. I don't think I'll have another day like that."
Anthony still wound up with a game-high 36 points in the Knicks' 97-90 overtime loss to the Celtics Sunday, but it took him 35 field-goal attempts to get there. Meanwhile, his eight teammates who played totaled only 20 more shots than he did.
As the Knicks try again to beat the Celtics in Game 5 to win a playoff series for the first time in 13 years, one of Anthony's goals is to spread the shots around more than he did in Game 4. It also helps that the Knicks' second-leading scorer, J.R. Smith, returns after his one-game suspension.
With Smith out on Sunday, Anthony too often relied on isolation plays. That's not the type of share-the-basketball style these Knicks have played so well at times this year, and Anthony knows it.
"Thirty-five shots is a lot of shots for me," he said. "It's kind of out of character."
Anthony also went 0-for-7 on three-pointers in Game 4 after shooting 8-for-16 from downtown in the first three games of this first-round series.
The way Anthony described it, he never found his rhythm Sunday.
"I felt like I was just one step slow but I was speeding a little bit at the same time," he said. "So I just want to relax and let the game come to me, continue doing what I've been doing the first three games, being aggressive."
Even though Anthony led the league in scoring during the regular season, he prides himself on becoming a better all-around player, talking often about trusting his teammates more.
And going into what could be a celebratory night for both player and team with a win, Anthony wants to return to that share-the-wealth game plan that's worked so well all season.
Anthony has led his team into the playoffs every year, but he only made it out of the first round in 2009 with the Nuggets.
"For me it's just working everybody back into their roles, back into the play, getting guys shots where they need to be at," Anthony said. "It's just playing basketball at this point and don't worry about how many shots I took or things like that . . .
"But for me, just to win this game, we're going to do it as a team."