Knicks again build weak case to keep Melo
February, 28, 2014
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
MIAMI -- If what Carmelo Anthony said on Thursday morning is true, the New York Knicks are in trouble.
Hours before the Knicks were embarrassed by the Miami Heat, Anthony said that he’d consider everything that happens with this team on and off the court when he makes a decision about free agency.
“It’s a lot of options, a lot of things going to be thought about when that time comes,” Anthony said on Thursday morning. “Off the court, on the court, just a lot of things are going to have to be put all on the table.”
The Knicks certainly didn’t help their case to keep Anthony on Thursday night. New York wasted another brilliant scoring night from Carmelo in an ugly 26-point loss to the defending-champion Heat.
Marc Serota/Getty ImagesLeBron's Heat ran away from Melo's Knicks in the second half.
Melo poured in 29 points on 11-for-20 shooting, singlehandedly keeping the Knicks in the game in the first 30 minutes.
But Miami went on separate runs of 14-3 and 10-0 in the third to take control.
“They made a run in the third and we just crumbled from there,” Anthony said.
Thursday was another game in which Anthony did all he could to help the Knicks but got little support from his teammates.
Anthony's supporting cast shot a combined 20-for-63 from the floor. After the game, someone asked Carmelo how often he feels like he has to do too much to carry the Knicks.
"A lot, it's a lot," he said.
Can you blame him for feeling a little overwhelmed after what happened on Thursday?
Raymond Felton was 1-for-7 in his first game since being arraigned on Tuesday and charged with two weapons-related felonies. Tim Hardaway Jr. went 2-for-15 in his worst game as a pro. The Knicks were outscored by 30 in Amar'e Stoudemire’s 19 minutes on the floor.
New York also gave up 66 points in the paint.
“That’s where we lost the game,” Carmelo said.
The Knicks have dropped seven of eight and are a season-high 16 games under .500.
J.R. Smith was asked after the game if all of the losing is impacting Anthony, whom he has known for the past eight years.
“I think it’s pretty much numbing to him now the way things are going,” Smith said. “And that’s not good for anybody.”
Certainly not the Knicks, whose future plans are based on Anthony re-signing for five years this summer.
Anthony has said that his first priority is to sign with James Dolan's club. He has also said that he’d be willing to take less money -- from the Knicks or another team -- if it helps the franchise attract other free agents.
Anthony can sign a maximum contract of five years, $129 million with the Knicks. He can sign for one year and $33 million less with another team.
Money might be the only reason for Carmelo to re-sign with New York at this point. The Bockers are 5½ games out of a playoff spot and have dealt with plenty of embarrassment on and off the court this season.
“I was laughing with somebody, just saying, Murphy’s Law. Everything that can go wrong for us is going wrong at this point,” Anthony said before the loss to the Heat. “All that stuff, man, you know, with all that said, we’ve still got to play basketball.”
The Knicks have 24 games left to try to make the playoffs, and to try to keep their superstar in town.
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