NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Carmelo Anthony said the Knicks “just need to relax” following their latest 111-99 loss to the Orlando Magic.
Try telling that to the fans.
Anthony had 24 points and nine assists for New York (35-36), who lost for the seventh time in eight games and are below .500 for the first time since they were 8-9 after losing to Atlanta on Nov. 27.
“We just need to relax, man,” said Anthony. “We’re just putting too much pressure on ourselves. We’re losing games we should be winning. We need to relax and have fun. I don’t think there is no fun in the game, and we need to bring it back in the game.”
Yes, the Knicks have big problems, but Carmelo says his team needs to take a deep breath.
“Everybody just relax,” Anthony said. “Just go out there, just play basketball. Just play the way you know how to play.”
That stands in sharp contrast to Amar’e Stoudemire, who said after the game the Knicks need to “stay together, stay focused, and keep working at it.”
Stoudemire was held to a season-low 13 points, shooting 6 of 20 from the floor.
“Amar’e's tired,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We’ve worn him down a little bit and it showed tonight.”
The Knicks blame the difficulties of adjusting to a major trade so late in the season, and a March schedule that has them playing 18 games, with six sets of back-to-backs. They canceled Thursday’s practice following the game.
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“I think we’re all somewhat getting the fatigue factor setting in,” Stoudemire said. “It’s been a crazy, crazy month for us so far, a lot of games in few nights. And so we played great in the first half, we applied so much energy, in the second half we just kind of run out a little bit there. But we’ll be OK.”
“These times ain’t gonna last forever,” Anthony added.
The Knicks once spoke of finishing fifth in the Eastern Conference, but they might be lucky they’ve gone backward to seventh instead.
“Losing games…that’s the toughest part,” Carmelo said. “Losing games we should be winning. As far as experience, I am still having fun. I just want everyone else on the team to have fun.”
Do the Knicks “just need to relax” or “keep working at it”? Sound off in the comments below…
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