PHILADELPHIA — Carmelo Anthony feels like he’s watching the same movie over and over again, but he’s hoping for a different ending.
The Knicks are struggling to find their way again, just like they have the last three seasons when they missed the playoffs. Anthony is trying to remain positive but he knows this could be the Knicks on the road to ruin again.
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“I’ve seen it for the past couple of years,” Anthony said. “It’s not worrisome. I’ve seen it before. I’ve seen this happen before. I’ve seen it go downhill quickly.
“I don’t think this is the situation. But we definitely have to start playing better basketball as a whole, as a team. Everybody has to start playing better basketball. We have to turn this thing around quickly.”
Anthony, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, has maintained that he wants to remain a Knick. But questions about his future will arise if they don’t start playing better.
The Knicks took another step backward Thursday night with their heartbreaking last-second 98-97 loss to the Sixers. They’ve now dropped 12 of 15, after sitting at 14-10 and in third place in the East one month ago.
“Just a couple of weeks ago, it was a different vibe around here,” Anthony said. “I guess when it rains it pours sometimes. We got to stop that raining right now.
“Believe it not when you look at things we’re [21⁄2] games out of the playoffs right now with still almost half the season to go. That’s the upside of things and that’s the way I look at it.”
The Knicks looked even more dysfunctional after Derrick Rose flew to Chicago on a game night Monday for “a family issue” and refused to pick up his phone when Knicks executives, coaches and players tried contacting him.
Anthony said he was concerned about Rose, but he stays out of family situations, and he’s glad his teammate is OK.
The Knicks’ on-court problems stem from a lack of defense, low-energy performances and too much one-on-one play on offense. Anthony can be accused of all of the above sometimes. He acknowledged he has to lift his game.
“I always feel like I should be doing more, I want to do more,” Anthony said. “I’m always asking the coaches what else they want me to do, what else they need me to do? I’ll take that responsibility on myself.”
Anthony is averaging a team-high 21.9 points, but he’s shooting a career-low 42.1 percent. He was thrown out of Monday’s loss to the Pelicans. Anthony said frustration over three no-calls in a row led to his third ejection this season. He vowed it would be the last.
“It is a lot,” he said. “It won’t happen again. I can tell you that. It won’t happen again.”
Anthony can’t be as confident about the Knicks’ season turning around, but he’s staying optimistic.
“I’m always going to have faith,” Anthony said. “Nothing will alter that. As long as I’m here, as long as I’m playing, as long as I get an opportunity to win a game, I’ll always have faith in what I can do and my ability and my team’s ability.”