Knicks 'zzone

Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.

Carmelo Anthony on missing shots and missing time

After the Knicks’ latest loss, it was Carmelo Anthony’s turn to sit and think. The struggling small forward has plenty on his mind.

Anthony is mired in a terrible shooting slump that has contributed mightily to the Knicks’ six-game losing streak. He also continues to play with a sprained left wrist and sore ankle that isn’t helping his shooting.

All of this had Anthony considering shooting less and shutting it down after the Knicks’ 119-114 double-OT loss to the Nuggets.

Here are some of the things Anthony said:

  • “Maybe I need to not take so many shots.”
  • “Maybe I should take the blame for the games we’ve been losing, offensive struggles. Coach does run the offense through me. So I’ll take it. I’ll take that blame.
  • “Maybe it’s a time to reevaluate everything, reevaluate my body, sit with the trainers, see what’s going on,” he said. “I’m kind of hard-headed as far as them telling me to sit out games. I don’t really know how to take that. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate that.”

Anthony was close to shooting straight on all of this, but like on the court he remained off.

There is no maybe here.

Anthony has taken an exorbitant amount of shots: 105 in the last four games, and he’s only made 35. He isn’t getting his teammates involved enough. Amar’e Stoudemire - remember him? - took just nine shots in the game, just three after halftime and just one after the third quarter.

Also, Anthony should re-evaluate his health. He could take off today and tomorrow, but then the Knicks play four games in five nights. If he misses those first two games against Charlotte and Cleveland – games you would expect the Knicks to win - it will give Anthony five days off.

Anthony said losing to his old team had nothing to do with his soul-searching session alone in the Knicks’ locker room long after the final buzzer sounded on his 10-for-30 shooting night. But it had to play a part.

Anthony is a competitor and he wanted this game for all the right reasons as well as probably for some selfish ones.

He’s heard over and over that the Nuggets got the better of the deal and on a night when he could have somewhat proven his worth, Anthony couldn’t deliver against the team he forced his way out of the way Danilo Gallinari did against the team he never wanted to leave.

Gallinari was 9-for-19 from the field, his 18-of-20 from the line and scored a career-high 37 points. He also iced the game with a pair of free throws in the second overtime with the Knicks down three.

Anthony took more than twice as many shots as Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler combined. Anthony also committed six turnovers, including one in the closing seconds of the first overtime with the score tied. He could have made the game-winning play and written a different ending to this story.

But it hasn’t been that kind of season for Anthony or the Knicks. They are a team that doesn’t know how to win. They’ve proven.

After Friday’s embarrassing loss to the Bucks, Stoudemire sat on the bench for a couple of minutes, trying to figure out what’s happening and what can turn things around.

Coach Mike D’Antoni said the Knicks took a positive step Saturday, that they played much better and could build off of this.

But the bottom line is they lost again, lost for the sixth straight time, lost their fourth straight at home and were booed at The Garden for the fourth straight time. They’re also facing life, at least temporarily, without Anthony.

Even if he plays, Anthony is thinking about shooting less. Maybe Anthony should stop thinking about it and just stop shooting until his shot comes back.

Tags: Knicks , Carmelo Anthony , Tyson Chandler , Denver Nuggets , Mike D'Antoni , Danilo Gallinari , Amar'e Stoudemire

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