The New York Knicks have dropped four straight games, and the latest heartbreaking loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday left head coach Mike Woodson none too pleased with Carmelo Anthony.
Woodson criticized Anthony for his late-game decision-making in the 100-98 loss to the Raptors, a game in which the Knicks' star was outdueled by Rudy Gay. Marc Berman of The New York Post has the details:
"I thought our shot selection was awful [late],'' Woodson said. "Sometimes the 3s look good, but we had an opportunity to drive the ball, get smashed and go to the line and make free throws. Going back at the tape, the last two minutes, we had opportunities to take the ball to the rim. We settled. They made the plays down the stretch and we didn't.''
There was one play in the final minute that Woodson was specifically upset about, where Anthony passed up an opportunity to drive and instead fired a pass to Raymond Felton, who promptly bricked a three.
"Melo got rid of it too soon. When he caught it, he had an opportunity to drive it right away and he let it go too soon,'' Woodson said.
Anthony did finish with 32 points on the night, but made just 1-of-8 from three and went 3-of-8 from the field in the fourth quarter. One of those misses was a potential game-tying three with eight seconds left.
Meanwhile, Gay scored nine of his season-high 32 points in the fourth, hitting several clutch shots and icing the game at the free throw line (although he did miss one freebie in the waning moments). The trade for Gay has been a boon for the Raptors, who have gone 7-3 since the deal.
The Knicks have been going in the other direction, and have now fallen out of the second spot in the Eastern Conference thanks to the Indiana Pacers' drubbing of the Detroit Pistons. New York is just 11-11 in 2013, as the defense has been inconsistent and the hot early season three-point shooting has cooled. Things will not be much easier going forward, with eight of the next 13 on the road and tough homes games against the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors mixed in.
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