Carmelo Anthony is trying to do more with less.
Anthony entered Friday’s game against the Orlando Magic as the NBA’s second-leading scorer and averaging 22 shots per game, but he says he’s consciously trying to shoot — and score — less in an effort to get his teammates more involved.
“Yeah, for me I just wanted to do something a little different, just see if it worked,” Anthony said after scoring a team-best 20 points on an efficient 6-for-10 shooting as the Knicks routed the Magic, 121-83, for their second straight win following nine losses in a row.
“Me scoring 30 wasn’t working, so it will be a time again where I need to step up and score those points but these last couple games, the guys stepped up big time and just allowed me to make them better and they made me better.”
Anthony grabbed 11 rebounds and handed our four assists.
More importantly, he only took 10 shots.
Six other Knicks reached double-figures, with Andrea Bargnani and J.R. Smith scoring 17 apiece.
“That is what we need,” Smith said of Anthony. “When he gets doubled he trusts us to make the right play. Our trust level is getting higher and higher.”
Anthony showed similar restraint when he went 8-for-12 for 19 points against the Nets.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the Knicks won those two games by a combined 78 points.
“There’s going to be nights Carmelo gets 30 and there’s going to be nights he gets 40,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “He’s that type of player, but I’ve always since I’ve been here, I want a team offensively where you just don’t know where it’s gonna come from. And we had I think five or six guys in double-figures again tonight. And when I look at that, everybody’s being unselfish and they’re sacrificing themselves for the sake of the team.”
Adam Zagoria covers the New York Knicks and Big East hoops for NBA.com and SNY.tv. He also appears as a Big East Basketball Insider on SNY and 1050 ESPN Radio. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.