Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Updated: March 23, 9:29 AM ET
Carmelo Anthony has 'faith' in Knicks
By Ian Begley
Special to ESPNNewYork.com
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- When it comes to the New York Knicks, star acquisition Carmelo Anthony has changed his tune from "wait 'til next year" to "wait a few more weeks."
Anthony said on Tuesday afternoon that he has "faith" that the Knicks will turn things around in time for the postseason.
"I believe, we believe that something will get turned around quickly," Anthony said when asked if the Knicks, losers of six of seven, can jell in the 12 games remaining in the regular season. "We have a little bit under a month to get this thing right to get ready for the playoffs. And right now, we're just figuring it out on the go. As long as we figure it out by the time the playoffs come, I'm not really too concerned about what's going on right now and how it's going on.
"Losing games can be a little bit frustrating at times but that happens, especially when you're trying to get things right and you're trying to get things on the same page."
Anthony caused a stir last Sunday after the Knicks' 100-95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks when he questioned whether the Knicks would be able to coalesce in time for the postseason.
"It might take [until] next season," Anthony said after the Knicks had their lowest-scoring quarter of the season (nine points in the first) against the Bucks. "We're almost there. If everybody gets 100 percent on the same page, it might take [until] next season. Right now, in this short period of time, we've got to come together as a unit and just check out what we're going to do, and do it. As far as everybody jelling and the chemistry clicking to where we want it to be, it's going to take some time."
The Knicks are 7-9 since Anthony's arrival. They fell to 35-35 after Monday night's loss to the Boston Celtics. The last time New York was .500 was Feb. 11, 11 days before the Knicks finalized the three-team, 13-player deal to acquire Anthony. They enter play on Tuesday in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, a game behind the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to some associated with the team, the Knicks players may be pressing.
Coach Mike D'Antoni said on Monday night that the team panicked late in the fourth quarter of its loss to the Celtics. He said on Tuesday that the offense was stagnant at times in the final stanza, a common theme in its recent struggles. D'Antoni has observed that the new-look Knicks are "not quite sure" of what they want to do on offense late in games. The Celtics outscored the Knicks 23-4 in the final 7:26 on Monday.
"We're trying to clear that up," D'Antoni said after Tuesday's practice.
The coach said he believes Anthony, who took a veiled shot at the staff last week after the Pacers' Tyler Hansbrough torched the Knicks for 59 points in two games, has bought fully into his system. But D'Antoni said on Tuesday that Anthony still may be adjusting to his up-tempo offense, particularly late in games.
"Where the adjustments [are not] being made may be in the fourth quarter where we get tired, we get a little nervous and it gets to be a little bit of 'let me do it,'" D'Antoni said. "And that's understandable."
Anthony was 0-for-3 from the field in the fourth quarter against Boston. He sat out the final two minutes due to a cut above his left eye courtesy of a Rajon Rondo elbow. Anthony received five stitches to sew up the wound. There was visible swelling around his eye.
He said on Tuesday that his eye felt fine. It sounded as if he felt the same way about the Knicks, who've lost three straight entering Wednesday's home game against the Magic.
"It's a process, it's a long process. That's something that I keep telling myself, I keep telling the guys on the team that," said Anthony, who has averaged 24.3 points on 44 percent shooting in 16 games as a Knick. "At the end of the day, it's going to get to where we want it to be at. I'm not too concerned with that. I'm confident in that. I'm positive about making that happen, making this whole thing work."
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.