With every New York Knicks’ loss, that extra $30 million the Knicks can offer Carmelo Anthony this summer to keep him in New York has to seem less and less enticing.
The Knicks dropped their 6th straight game on Monday to the Portland Trailblazers, 102-91. This is their 7th loss in 8 games. Once again the Knicks dug themselves in a huge hole to start the game, falling behind 34-18 after 1 quarter.
In what has become a disturbing trend, the Knicks failed to get balanced offense and continued their atrocious defense. Carmelo Anthony stepped up with 34 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 assists, but his teammates did not get the memo.
The most egregious offender was Iman Shumpert who played 23 minutes and failed to log a single point, rebound, or assist. Shumpert added two turnovers to his inept stat line. Shumpert has not been the same since his name was publicly dangled in trade rumors. Coach Mike Woodson said after the game he would talk to Shumpert when the Knicks arrive in LA to “see where his head is at.”
Woodson might want to talk to the rest of the team too. We heard the same song from J.R. Smith — who scored 6 points (2-8) in 25 minutes, Smith lamented the lack of effort being put forth by the Knicks. Smith also added that effort “can’t be coached” as a possible attempt to shade Mike Woodson from criticism.
One has to question whether the players are all behind Woodson. The Knicks’ lack of attention to detail early in games is appalling. It leaves fans to wonder if Woodson is telling the players something and they are not listening, or if Woodson is just not making the right adjustments.
In Woodson’s defense, the Knicks have been hit with injuries to two starters in Tyson Chandler — their best defensive player by a long shot — and Raymond Felton, but when players are not giving effort it is not a good sign. With that said, I wouldn’t expect a change anytime soon, as Knicks’ owner James Dolan gave Woodson a vote of confidence last week. That could change if the Knicks continue their losing ways.
If the Knicks don’t turn it around soon it could negatively affect their ability to resign Carmelo Anthony in the offseason. Anthony has already declared he will opt out in the summer.
As I said earlier, the Knicks have the ability to offer Anthony a max deal worth approximately $30 million more than any other team can offer. It would be unlikely for Anthony to turn that down, but his mind could change if the Knicks continue to struggle. Right now Anthony is playing hard as he tries to will the team to break the losing streak. Unfortunately, his teammates are not giving him the support necessary.
The Knicks still have time to right the ship. It helps that they are in the weak Eastern Conference. In fact, the Knicks are only three games behind the 6-7 Toronto Raptors for first place in the unimpressive Atlantic Division.
The Knicks can only hope Anthony stays the course and remains positive. But for now, Anthony — who played 43 minutes on Monday — has to feel like he is stranded on an island with no help in sight.
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