Sugarcoating the obvious isn't in Carmelo Anthony's job description.
Immediately following the New York Knicks' fifth straight home loss, 'Melo, miffed by how his squad had fallen to 3-6, blasted his team's effort.
"We ain't playing worth a s--- right now," Anthony said, per ESPN New York's Ohm Youngmisuk. "We got to play harder."
Choice four-letter words are the only ones worth describing how the Knicks have been playing. Their five-game home losing streak is the organization's longest since 2010, when the team dropped six consecutive contests on its own turf. If the Knicks lose their next game at Madison Square Garden to the Indiana Pacers, the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference, it will mark just the eighth time in franchise history that they have squandered six or more in a row at home.
So yeah, profane statements are acceptable to make. The Knicks aren't playing well on either end of the floor, and it shows.
One year after ranking third in offensive efficiency and 18th in defensive efficiency, the Knicks currently rank 17th and 27th, (dis)respectively. They're shooting just 42.4 percent from the field as a team, rank 29th in rebounds per game and have lost back-to-back bouts twice already. Last year, a second set of back-to-back losses didn't come until January.
Worse still, the Knicks have been horrific at home. They lost 10 games at the Garden all of last season. Nine games in to 2013-14, they're at five. Their fifth home loss didn't come until mid-January in 2012-13.
"It’s a messed up, nasty feeling," Anthony said, via the New York Daily News' Frank Isola. "I am really at a loss for words right now."
Point being, they're in trouble.
Against the Atlanta Hawks, "Fire [Mike] Woodson" chants echoed across the Garden, as the Knicks, defensively lethargic all year, didn't show up in the fourth quarter. A game that was close all night resulted in a 20-point beatdown—at home.
While you hate to question a team's effort, New York's just isn't there—not every minute of every night. And like its two-way struggles, it shows.
"I’m disappointed too in our effort," 'Melo admitted, per Isola. "We’re not getting it done from an effort standpoint. It’s like we’re not even trying."
Lack of effort should never be an issue, not at this level. But for the Knicks it is, and they're not fooling anyone.
Least of all an increasingly honest Carmelo Anthony.
*All stats compiled from Basketball-Reference and are accurate as of Nov. 17 unless otherwise noted.