Knicks held players-only meeting

Updated: November 9, 2013, 12:37 AM ET
By Ian Begley | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony questioned the team's effort in a players-only meeting following a loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday.

"We shut the door after the game and talked it out a little bit and tried to figure out what was happening," Anthony said Friday.

Anthony's message to his teammates was direct.

"We've got to want it, we've got to want to do it. We've got to believe in ourselves, and right now we're playing like we don't even believe in ourselves," Anthony said. "It's just effort."

The Knicks responded on Friday with their best effort of the young season in a 101-91 win over Charlotte.

"Sometimes you need to get together and talk, communicate, let it all out, just try to figure what's the problem, what's the issue," Anthony said after the win. "We responded well."

One of the issues that arose during the players-only meeting was New York's sloppy ballhandling.

The Knicks (2-3) entered play Friday turning over the ball 16.8 times per game, the 16th-highest rate in the league. Last season, the Knicks had the lowest turnover rate in the NBA.

"You cannot turn the ball over if you want to be a good team in this league," Anthony said. "Hopefully the conversation we had after that game made everybody realize that although it is early there are some things we need to fix and we need to fix now."

The Knicks turned over the ball just 12 times in their win over Charlotte on Friday.

Still, Anthony calling his team's effort into question is an indication of how dire things are for the Knicks, who had lost three straight games entering play Friday.

New York will be without center Tyson Chandler (broken leg) for at least four weeks. The injury is a crushing blow to a team that entered the season with championship aspirations.

Players have said that everyone from Knicks owner and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan to the coaching staff is upset over New York's start.

"Nobody is happy right now," Raymond Felton said on "The Michael Kay Show" on ESPN New York 98.7 on Thursday. "We weren't expecting to be 1-3.

"All I can say to the fans is we do apologize. I am speaking on behalf of myself and my teammates. We do apologize for the way we have been playing. We are not playing Knicks basketball right now. We understand that. We are going to play harder, we are going to play better. It's early on in the season. Just be patient with us."

Felton agreed with Anthony's assertion that the Knicks lack intensity, which is a startling admission for a team that is just four games into an 82-game season.

"I'm not going to sit here and say that the energy is not there," Felton said. "It just seems like teams are playing harder than we are, they want it more than we do. And we've just got to change that.

"Everybody's starting to panic a little bit but we're fine. We're going through a little slump right now but we'll get through it."

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