Knicks' Amar'e-Carmelo tandem not working
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Amar'e Stoudemire sat alone reflecting after Friday night's defeat, and Carmelo Anthony did some soul-searching about 24 hours later after another Knicks loss. Anthony said it's time for the two captains to get together and talk.
Maybe the result will be the two finding a way to play well together.
The Anthony-Stoudemire tandem hasn't clicked the way the Knicks had hoped. It was never more evident than in Saturday night's sixth straight defeat, a 119-114 double-overtime loss to Denver, Anthony's old team.
Anthony attempted 30 shots and missed 20. Stoudemire took only nine shots, including five in the last 55 minutes and one after the third quarter. Anthony came to the conclusion that he probably should be passing more.
"We as a team need to do a better job getting Amar'e the ball," Anthony said Saturday. "I have the ball in my hands. Maybe it's on me. Maybe I need to get him the ball a little bit more, help him out with that.
"Me and [Stoudemire] will talk, try to figure it out together. If I'm doing too much, I want him to tell me. I want the guys on my team to tell me if I'm doing too much. We handle it like that."
Anthony said there already have been "team meetings, players meetings." But this one-to-one seems long overdue.
Before Anthony was acquired 11 months ago, Stoudemire was The Man. Now he's becoming the forgotten man. In the last four games, Anthony is 35-for-105 and has taken more than twice as many shots as Stoudemire (21-for-51).
"Maybe I need to stop shooting a lot," Anthony said.
Anthony also plans to talk with the Knicks' trainers about whether he should rest his sprained left wrist and sore right ankle. He's been reluctant to miss games, but the injuries probably are contributing to his horrendous shooting slump.
With or without Anthony, the Knicks appear to be in disarray. Anthony said he will shoulder the blame for the offensive struggles. Considering his shooting lately, he probably should look to distribute more. But it's not all on him.
The Knicks have become predictable offensively and much easier to guard. They haven't consistently knocked down shots and don't have a point guard to control and run Mike D'Antoni's offense. Baron Davis could participate in practice Monday and make his Knicks debut this week. He would help, but he might not solve all their problems.
Too often the other four players stand and watch Anthony take long jump shots in isolation plays. Stoudemire hasn't been as explosive or effective as he was last season. He has less room to operate with Tyson Chandler down low and doesn't have the same plays run for him. Anthony and Chandler, rolling to the basket, are getting more pick-and-rolls.
"It's all about winning with me," Stoudemire said. "It's not about numbers, not about shots."