Carmelo Anthony says Knicks 'playing to lose'

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

Melo vented his frustrations yet again after a ninth straight loss.

If the New York Knicks haven't hit rock bottom, they're awfully close. With the 103-99 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, the Knicks have lost nine straight games overall and seven straight at Madison Square Garden. Those seven straight losses at home ties the franchise record.

Tthe Knicks dropped to 3-13 with the loss, and star Carmelo Anthony vented his frustrations afterward, according to ESPN New York's Ian Begley:

"I think we're playing to lose rather than playing to win right now," Anthony said after the Knicks' 103-99 loss to New Orleans on Sunday. "When you lose games the way we've been losing them at home, on the road, you start thinking a lot. You start playing a little tense, you start playing on your heels."

New York was in position to win the game following a solid first half, and they led by as many as six points in the fourth quarter. But like they have all year, the Knicks imploded, with Anthony's own offensive struggles being a big part of the problem. The Knicks star went 2-of-6 overall and 1-of-4 from three in the fourth quarter, missing a game-tying attempt with 18 seconds left in the process:

"We just can't seem to get it together," Anthony said after scoring 23 points and grabbing ten rebounds. "We can't seem to figure it out."

Making matters even worse is the fact that Pelicans star big man Anthony Davis missed three quarters of the game after fracturing his left hand. Ryan Anderson stepped up in the absence of Davis, torching the Knicks to the tune of 31 points. Tyreke Evans added 24 points, with 10 of those coming in the final frame.

To put the cherry on top of this mess, Anthony and embattled guard Iman Shumpert got into it on the sideline. The two players tried to downplay the issue, but it's clear that frustrations are running high for both players. Shumpert especially has been out of whack, and he didn't play a single minute in the fourth quarter following the incident. The 23-year-old has been the subject of recent trade rumors, so one has to wonder whether that's taking a toll on him mentally.

With the Knicks a disaster, it seems inevitable that a drastic move is on the horizon. That could mean pulling the trigger on a Shumpert trade, firing Mike Woodson or maybe even both. Who knows if that would change anything, and it would probably be prudent to first see what happens when Tyson Chandler returns from injury, but owner James Dolan may not want to do any more waiting.

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