Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter
Carmelo Anthony will return to Chicago on Thursday for the first time since choosing the Knicks over the Bulls in free agency last summer.
He and the Knicks will arrive with a 5-22 record — the second-worst in the NBA — while the Bulls are pretty much where everyone expected they would be at 15-9.
“What’s done is done, I kind of don’t think about it anymore,” Anthony said Wednesday at practice. “That’s in the past for me. It’s a situation that I had to deal with that I went through this offseason. As far as now and thinking about that situation, it don’t even come close to me thinking about.”
Still, in a recent documentary aired on the MSG Network, Anthony conceded that he was on the brink of heading to the Windy City. To read more of this story, click here
J.R. Smith won’t travel with the Knicks to Chicago.
Smith is still dealing with a left foot injury that kept him out of Tuesday night’s game.
“Yeah, he’s just been trying to get some treatment and see if we can accelerate the healing process as much as we can,” Knicks coach Derek Fisher said of Smith. “We got games Saturday and Sunday coming up, so hopefully we can get some accelerated healing.”
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The Knicks’ lopsided loss at the hands of Tyson Chandler and the Dallas Mavericks continued their historically horrific start to the 2014-15 season, falling to 5-22 in the early going.
Obviously, the Knicks can do nothing right. As a result, every player on the team not named Carmelo Anthony is on the trading block.
According to reporter Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, the entire Knicks team is said to be available. The most likely to go, per the report, is J.R. Smith. The team will likely keep Anthony — for now — but a shakeup could be on the horizon in New York:
The Knicks will probably keep Carmelo Anthony for now. But rival executives say that everyone else at the Garden is available, possibly even the ball boys. J.R. Smith is the most likely to be exiled, if the Knicks can find a taker.
Smith, 29, is averaging 10.3 points per game this season, an awful start that just seems fitting for the Knicks’ team woes. Amar’e Stoudemire, 32, is in the final year of his deal. Both players seem the most likely to be moved.
The Knicks need
to shake things up, whether it’s getting some salary cap relief or just trimming the fat.
Smith is off to his worst start since joining the team. In fact, he’s matched his offensive production from his rookie season a decade ago. Coach Derek Fisher is trying to avoid sending him out on the court, as Smith is averaging just 25.1 minutes per game, his lowest number in three seasons.
Stat is also a prime candidate to be dealt, as the 32-year-old is actually having a strong enough season that he could be attractive to other clubs in need of front court depth. Stoudemire is averaging 13.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, his best numbers over the past two or three seasons.
Getting some sort of return on either players would be a plus for the Knicks, as so far with Stat and Smith they’ve managed five wins. Whether it’s money, draft picks or actual contributors on the court, a firesale is the right move.
Carmelo Anthony is confident that believing can go a long way in winning basketball games. After Tuesday’s 107-87 loss to the Mavericks, Anthony was clear on what needed to change for the 5-22 team (ESPN, Dec. 17).
“We gotta want to win. We gotta believe that we can win basketball games,” Anthony said. “It seems that when we don’t get off to a good start and we climb uphill, battle, or if the game is close, we don’t have that confidence that we can win the basketball game. We’re worrying about not losing the game so much that we kind of lose focus on believing and having the faith that we can win the basketball game.”
While Anthony took the storybook approach, coach Derek Fisher expressed his frustration with his starters.
“I thought the start was not the right way to start a professional basketball game,” said Fisher. “Those guys that were in there to start the game, that was a disappointment to their teammates more than anything. Guys that start the game have to mentally and physically be ready to play, and they couldn’t put that out there.”
Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer
It’s one thing to believe in yourselves. It’s another thing to be realistic about one’s expectations.
The funny thing about the Knicks’ latest loss to the Mavericks is that it wasn’t by any means a devastating one. Of course, New York suffered a twenty-point defeat, but every team should be allotted nights like this.
The Mavericks are more talented than the Knicks by a long shot. They’re quicker, stronger, more athletic, and even more efficient as well.
Dallas ran the home team out of their own building on Tuesday night by letting it fly from long range. Such an assertiveness never wavered — between the likes of Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons, Jose Barea, Devin Harris, and others, it’s safe to say the Mavericks can spread the floor as good as any team in the NBA. It showed against New York.
Aside from the Mavericks’ long list of sharpshooters, Tyson Chandler outmuscled his former team’s frontline with 14 boards. All of this happened while Dirk Nowitzki quietly led his team with 16 points.
Needless to say, the Knicks were overwhelmed and outmatched throughout. But that’s okay. Games like this happen.
What shouldn’t be considered acceptable, however, is all of the close losses by seven points or less that the Knicks have frustratingly let slip through their fingers. Losing by twenty-points is undoubtedly discouraging, but such a defeat would sting a hell of a lot less, if the team was winning the games they were supposed to, in spite of this.
On GEICO SportsNite, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and head coach Derek Fisher discuss the Knicks’ 20-point loss to the Mavericks.
Moke Hamilton, NBA Analyst
Carmelo Anthony is always open, honest and up front with the media. He often has something insightful to say, regardless of the circumstances.
So when even he is at a loss for words, you know the New York Knicks are in trouble.
Tuesday night’s 107-87 loss to the Dallas Mavericks was an effort that left both Anthony and his head coach highly disappointed and even confounded.
“How can I answer that?” Carmelo thought aloud after being asked what most disappointed him about the listless bunch that began the game by laying down and allowing the Mavericks to build an early 18-point cushion.
He shook his head. He scoffed. He smirked while he searched for an answer, and then he repeated what he said just a minute earlier.
“They were ready to play,” Anthony said. “We weren’t.”
In the game’s first six minutes, the Mavericks nailed open threes, Tyson Chandler threw down a few monstrous dunks and before the Knicks knew it, they were trailing, 26-11.
“They got us on our heels early and we were just fighting ever since that first quarter,” Anthony said, but that was an understatement — the Knicks were on the brink of a first-round knockout.
To read more of this story, click here