NEW YORK -- Raymond Felton hears the criticism. But it doesn’t bother him.
“That’s what happens when you’re a point guard. Things are going to get pointed you’re way. It is what it is. I can care less what those people say or what they think. I’m coming here, I’m fighting for my team, I’m going to give it my all every day,” Felton said after the New York Knicks' 94-90 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Felton has come under heavy criticism for his play in recent days -- the latest scapegoat in a season full of them for the Knicks.
Fans and some analysts have been critical of Felton for his sub-par offensive production. That criticism came to a head on Monday when Felton scored just three points and had two late defensive lapses in the Knicks’ loss to the lowly Milwaukee Bucks.
Wednesday’s game was another tough night at the office for Felton.
He had seven points on 2-for-6 shooting in 23 minutes. Felton had three assists and only one turnover, but the Knicks were outscored by 10 when he was in the game. Knicks coach Mike Woodson elected to play Pablo Prigioni in the fourth quarter over Felton.
“Pablo was playing well; what’s the point of me coming back in the game?” Felton said. “He was playing great, the team was flowing. There’s no need for me to go out there. That’s why you have a team with three or four point guards.”
Woodson said after the Milwaukee game that he “needed to get Ray going” on both ends of the floor. That has been a challenge all season for the Knicks’ coaching staff.
Felton is scoring is down by 3.5 points. He’s shooting just 40 percent from the floor (30 percent from beyond the arc). And, according to one advanced statistic, he has struggled on the defensive end.
The Knicks have allowed opposing point guards to score 22.9 points per game, the highest per-game average of any of the five positions.
“I’m human. I’m going to have mistakes, I’m going to have bad games. I’m not the only one in this league who has bad games, but it just seems like it gets [magnified] right now because we are having a losing season and we’re not playing well,” Felton said. “So they’ve got to point [the finger] at somebody. So it’s pointed at me. Or pointed at the point guard. So it is what it is. I can care less what people say. I’m a strong-minded person. They can say what they want, but they can’t dictate my life.”
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