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Saturday, March 10, 2012
Jared Jeffries: Get Melo the ball!

By Ian Begley



Jared Jeffries has had a front-row seat for the Knicks' recent struggles.

And he thinks he's got one way for New York to break out of its funk -- get the ball to Carmelo Anthony in better spots.

Jeffries said on Friday that one of the Knicks' biggest issues during their recent slide has been an inability to get the ball to Anthony in places where he can be effective.

Anthony's been inconsistent since returning from a groin injury in late February. In the past eight games, Anthony's averaged 18.3 points. He's shared the floor with Jeremy Lin over those eight games.

On the season, Anthony's scoring 21.3 points per game.

"We have to do a better job of getting Melo the ball where he needs it," Jeffries said on Friday on the ESPN New York 1050's "The Ruocco and Lundberg Show." "One of the biggest problems we have right now is we don't know how to get him the ball where he can be effective."

Anthony made his first four shots against Milwaukee on Friday but finished the game missing nine of his final 13 attempts. He had 22 points on 7-of-17 shooting.

Jeffries was asked on Friday if he had any concerns over Anthony's attitude amid this rough patch. (The Knicks have lost four straight.)

"I think he's frustrated like all of us are," Jeffries said. "I know he wants to win, I know he wants to win as bad as any of us do. And he gets frustrated because you can't figure out why you are not playing at the level you should be playing. Every player feels like that. It's just that because he's more of a star player (and) there's a lot of emphasis put on him right now. People are looking at him and putting a bigger microscope on the things that he's doing."

Many wondered how Anthony would fit into the Knicks' offense run by Lin. Lin's run and attack is predicated on ball movement and spacing. Anthony traditionally thrives in isolation. The Knicks have lost six of their last eight games since Anthony returned.

Anthony has addressed Lin on the floor several times over the past few games. Jeffries dispelled the notion that he's demanding the ball from Lin.

"I'm telling him you that from somebody that's right there," Jeffries told Ruocco and Lundberg. "Melo's telling him, 'Look you've got to be aggressive, you've got to look for your own shot.' Melo's doing a very good job of talking to him and trying to get Jeremy to continue to play the same game he was before."

JEFFRIES BACK MONDAY? Jeffries said on Ruocco and Lundberg that he had his knee drained on Thursday and hopes to return on Monday against Chicago.