Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports
Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks have lost 9 straight games.The New York Knicks lost to the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday, their ninth consecutive loss. Despite entering this season with the league's second-highest payroll at $89.5 Million, the Knicks are 4-19, including 2-18 over their last 20 games.
How bad have things gotten in New York? The Knicks have lost 10 straight road games, their first double-digit road losing streak since losing 12 straight on the road in 2005-06. They finished 23-59 that season.
Knicks Through 23 Games
Last 2 Seasons
After a disappointing 2013-14 season, the Knicks appear to have gotten worse. The entire team – including its best player – appears to have regressed in some way thus far.
Carmelo Anthony has struggled this season. Tuesday he scored 17 points, his seventh game with fewer than 20 points this season, matching the total number of sub-20 point games he posted in the entire 2012-13 season, when he won his only career scoring title.
Anthony has not been as effective in isolation this season. After leading the league with 6.6 isolation points per game last season, he’s down to 5.1 per game in isolation.
However, it’s not as if Anthony has had much help offensively. Anthony averages over 22 points per game, but no other Knicks player is averaging more than 13.5 per game this season. Two seasons ago, when the Knicks last made the playoffs, four players averaged more than 13.5 points per game.
Defense has been a problem for this Knicks team as well. New York ranks in the bottom five in defensive efficiency, a far cry from ranking 17th two seasons ago and fifth just three seasons ago.
Although it was not exactly the cause of Tuesday’s loss, the Knicks have been plagued by their inability to execute late in games. The Knicks have an NBA-worst minus-49 point differential in clutch time this season, defined as the last five minutes of the game when the score is within five points.
The Elias Sports Bureau confirms that the Knicks are 2-9 in games decided by five points or less. Of teams to play at least five such games, only the Thunder have a worse record (1-6).