With the New York Knicks staring up at a two-game hole after two rough losses to the Indiana Pacers on the road, Carmelo Anthony is finally taking the lead and calling out New York's unimpressive offense.
After Indiana's suffocating defense held them to just 82 points in Tuesday night's 93-82 loss, New York's scoring average in the second round is down to just 88.25 points over four games.
Tyson Chandler was critical of New York's offense after Game 3, urging the team to move the ball more and keep the defense on their toes. Though originally perplexed by his teammate's comments, Anthony seems to concur at this point:
On Tyson's comments, Carmelo Anthony says, "He has the right to say that. Our offense has been sh****y." #Knicks— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 15, 2013
In the first two games it was thanks to a lot of standing around and waiting for Anthony or J.R. Smith to make something happen. This has changed in the last two games, but the team hasn't had any kind of improvement. In fact, it seems worse.
The Knicks had just 10 possessions end out of isolation in Game 4. 47 pick and rolls.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) May 15, 2013
This offensive slump dates back to the first round, as New York averaged just 87.7 points in six games against the Boston Celtics.
As a team they're shooting just 41.4 percent from the field and 32.8 percent from the three-point line. That puts them 3.4 percent below their season field-goal percentage and 4.8 percent below their three-point percentage.
As bad as they've been, Anthony seems to think the shots will start falling at some point, urging J.R. Smith to keep doing what he's been doing.
Carmelo also says he wants J.R. Smith to "keep shooting." So there's that.
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) May 15, 2013
Smith is on the same page as the rest of the team, going as far as taking the blame for New York's woeful offense.
J.R. Smith: "I take the blame for this whole series."— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) May 15, 2013
Even with the odds stacked against the Knicks, who need to win three in a row against the Pacers to move on in the postseason, Anthony still has faith in his team.
Carmelo says "I believe we can do something special here. I'm very confident that we can do something special here."— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) May 15, 2013
With the Pacers completely dominating the pace of the entire series so far, it's hard to imagine the Knicks mounting a comeback.
However, with their ability to knock down three-pointers in entire bushels, completely counting them out would be a mistake.