- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks are in the midst of yet another losing streak that could potentially put their coach’s job in jeopardy if things don’t turn around.
After falling to Portland for their third straight loss, Carmelo Anthony said any changes made by management, whether a potential trade or Mike Woodson’s status, isn't his decision.
“At this point, I don’t really know what’s going to happen, if something’s going to happen,” Anthony said. “If something was to happen then it’s out of my hands.”
J.R. Smith backed Woodson, but the shooter also knows anything could happen with the Knicks' current play.
“I love Coach Woodson,” Smith said. “I think he’s done a great job. But it’s out of my hands. So I would hope not (if management opts to make a change), but if it does then we have to live with it.”
Woodson certainly tried whatever he could to shake the Knicks out of their latest slump, even benching Raymond Felton in favor of Pablo Prigioni for the entire fourth quarter. He also played Amar'e Stoudemire (18 points) 21 minutes after the veteran vented about his lack of playing time.
But the Knicks (19-30) continue to put their coach in a precarious situation. Despite the fact that Portland (35-14) gave the Knicks all the chances to win in the fourth quarter by shooting 4-for-17, missing five free throws and turning the ball over seven times, Woodson’s team simply couldn’t capitalize.
Two nights after pouring in 36 points, Anthony had 26 points but failed to score a point in the fourth quarter. The Knicks couldn’t buy a 3-pointer, missing their first 16 of 18 from behind the arc, before knocking in consecutive 3-balls late to pull within 89-87 with 50 seconds remaining.
“I thought there were times where I thought we got hit but there was no call,” Woodson said. “... I go back in and look at the tape and I thought it was clearly a foul.”
“It wasn’t like he wasn’t getting good looks,” Woodson added. “And it wasn’t like he wasn’t trying to create something to get to the free-throw line."
The Knicks and Woodson are running out of games to turn the season around. They remain just 2 1/2 games back of Charlotte for eighth place in the East. But the Knicks are about to enter a brutal stretch in their schedule, which will send them on the road for 17 of their next 26 games.
And they just let several opportunities to upset the Blazers slip out of their hands.
"You are down four with 35 seconds on the clock and you put the ball in your best player’s hands and he comes up short," Woodson said.