Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony: “I think we’re playing to lose”


I’m not sure what more can be said about the Knicks play right now after nine straight losses.

Carmelo Anthony was searching for a way to describe New York’s play and was rightfully harsh in his assessment after a loss Sunday at home to a New Orleans team that had to play most of the game without Anthony Davis. Here is his quote, via

“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.”

The idea the Knicks are thinking too much and not just reacting was echoed by coach Mike Woodson.

“I thought coming down the stretch, we played on our heels. The [eight-game losing streak] we were looking at here was staring at us in the face [and] instead of relaxing and just playing, we just didn’t make one play,” Woodson said.

Anthony looked like a guy who was pressing Sunday. He realizes how much falls on his shoulders — there is no Raymond Felton/Tyson Chandler pick-and-roll to create shots, J.R. Smith remains cold following surgery, and while Andrea Bargnani gets them points he’s not a shot creator nor efficient. All that said, their offense is basically scoring at the same rate it has all season.

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The more serious problem remains the 27th ranked defense over the last 9 games (using points per possession, stats via Without Chandler (who could be out past Christmas) there is no good way to solve this, and there are no real assets worth trading to get a decent replacement. It falls to Kenyon Martin and he can only do so much.

The Knicks are going to start playing better at some point and rack up wins, and as bad as they’ve been they are just 3.5 games out of a playoff spot in a down East. But when they are going to turn it around and if they can dig out of this early season hole remains the questions.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.


DeMar DeRozan says he hates talking about free agency, takes pride in Raptors longevity

DeMar DeRozan
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DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.

But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.

“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”

This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.

Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.

Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.

I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.