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Carmelo Anthony avoids the Mike Woodson timeout issue

Mike Woodson, right, talks with Carmelo Anthony during

Mike Woodson, right, talks with Carmelo Anthony during a game against Portland. (March 14, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

MILWAUKEE - Carmelo Anthony gave a cryptic answer when asked if he regretted hesitating when he brought the ball upcourt in the closing seconds of Monday's one-point loss to Washington.

"I won't speak on that,'' Anthony said. "I have my reasons why I was hesitant. I won't speak on that. That's over with. I've moved on from there.''

Anthony already had been critical of Mike Woodson's decision-making at the end of that brutal loss, and he bit his tongue here. But Anthony said plenty by not saying anything before Wednesday night's's game against the Bucks.

The Knicks' franchise player is growing more and more frustrated by the losing. The last thing the embattled Woodson needs is to lose the support of Anthony.

After Monday's game, Anthony said the team "was expecting a timeout,'' and that Woodson never told the players to call one if the Wizards scored on their last possession. The Knicks had three remaining, and Woodson didn't use any after Bradley Beal's winning layup with 6.9 seconds left.

Anthony told Beno Udrih to inbound the ball to him. Instead of quickly bringing it upcourt, Anthony went at an unsure pace, then had to throw up an off-balance runner from three-point range that hit the backboard.

"I have my own reasons,'' Anthony said. "I won't discuss that.''

Woodson took the blame, and Anthony didn't come to his coach's defense after the game, saying, "If he said it's his fault, it's his fault.'' For weeks, Anthony had defended Woodson when it seemed the heat was on him.

With the Knicks 7-17, a loss to the NBA-worst Bucks might have been Woodson's last game. Two things in his favor is the Knicks don't have a strong candidate on his staff to replace him and they have been injury riddled. Still, it's been a rough few days for Woodson.

He didn't help himself by not using a timeout against the Wizards. Woodson called it "bad coaching'' but said the players made mistakes, too. The Knicks had a foul to give but let Beal drive the left baseline. Woodson said they were supposed to foul and didn't, that Udrih played Beal wrong and that Andrea Bargnani was out of position and never came to help.

Woodson also defended himself for not calling time, and seemed to put some of the onus on Anthony, saying "Melo begged'' for Udrih to throw him the ball.

Woodson said he did the same thing when he coached Atlanta so the defense couldn't set itself. "We threw it in and Joe Johnson was able to dribble down and hit a winning shot,'' Woodson said.

On Tuesday, Woodson said Amar'e Stoudemire would be "out a while'' because of swelling in his surgically repaired knees. Stoudemire quickly tweeted, "IM NOT INJURED,'' causing Woodson to backtrack Wednesday and blame reporters, saying, "You guys kind of ran with it.''

The Knicks are out of sync on and off the court, which is why the "Woodson watch'' is on full blast.

"That's you guys speculating on my job,'' he said. "I mean, I'm fine. And I think Steve [Mills] has been supportive through this whole thing, so hey, it's what it is at this point.

"I would like to see where we'll be if I had a full deck, and we haven't been able to get to that point and we're going to keep working until we get there. And when we do, then I'd really feel good. I feel good now. We've let some games slip away, but I feel good in terms of how we've been playing.''

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