Melo: We've 'come together' sans D'An
March, 17, 2012
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Carmelo Anthony believes the Knicks are a different team since Mike D'Antoni left.
After the Knicks' win over the Pacers on Friday, Anthony said the Knicks "came together" and found a renewed sense of purpose after D'Antoni and the Knicks agreed to a mutual parting of ways on Wednesday.
"I think with the change, we had to come together as a team and really find out and ask ourselves what we really want," Anthony said. "Right now, we want to win basketball games, we want to get to them payoffs. And why not start now and bring that intensity?"
The Knicks have won two in a row since Mike Woodson took over as interim head coach. D'Antoni left amid speculation that he and Anthony did not get along.
Anthony denied that rift, saying there was never any 'bad blood' between them.
D'Antoni's system never seemed to suit Anthony. Anthony thrives in isolation and D'Antoni's offense is predicated on ball movement and spacing.
"I had to sacrifice for the system, for Mike D'Antoni's system," Anthony said. "I had no problem with that."
The Knicks also struggled on defense for most of D'Antoni's tenure -- particularly at the end. They allowed 103.7 points per 100 possessions in D'Antoni's last ten games on the bench. In Woodson's first two, they allowed 89 per game.
"Unfortunately, sometimes it takes something dramatic to open up guys' eyes," Tyson Chandler said. "And I think guys now are responding to everything that has happened. Now we're trying to make a positive out of negative."
Anthony said the Knicks talked about having a sense of urgency after the coaching change and have played with more intensity over the last two games.
"We came together (and) we told ourselves, 'We've got to get it going, especially defensively.' We showed that the last couple of games," Anthony said, adding, "We came together these last couple days as a unit. We know our time is now."