NEW YORK -- Mike Woodson captured the New York Knicks' mess of a season with four simple words late Monday night.
"It's a damn shame," the Knicks coach said.
Truer words haven't been spoken by a member of the Knicks organization this season.
New York has lost nine of 11, the latest defeat coming Monday on a Dirk Nowitzki buzzer-beater.
Once again, the Knicks wasted an incredible night from Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony had 44 points, nine rebounds and four assists against Dallas. But it was all for naught after Nowitzki knocked down a 19-footer at the buzzer that hit the rim and went through with Anthony guarding him.
"I’m just hoping that he missed it. After the first bounce I said we’re going to overtime," Anthony said. "Then I saw it go back in and it was over."
Monday was just another frustrating night in a season full of them for Carmelo. He has scored at least 35 points in the Knicks' past four games. New York is 1-3 in that span.
"The way he’s played, it’s a damn shame that we’re in the position we’re in, because our team doesn’t deserve [it] and he definitely does not deserve the position that we’re in," Woodson said.
Said Anthony: "It's pointless ... You score 40, 44, all losses. You kind of ask yourself, is it worth it?"
All of the losses have led to speculation that Anthony will leave the Knicks in the offseason when he tests free agency.
It's worth noting, though, that the Knicks can sign Anthony to a max contract worth $129 million over five years. If Anthony signs with another team, the maximum contract he can ink is a four-year pact for $96 million.
Anthony said recently that his "first priority" is to sign with the Knicks, but he'd like to sit down with the team decision-makers to find out more about their plans to build a championship contender in New York.
The star forward has also said he'd take less money -- to stay with the Knicks or go to another franchise -- if it gave the team more cap space to sign other players.
After Nowitzki's shot on Monday, Anthony wasn't thinking about his future. Instead, he was stuck in the present -- and it wasn't pretty. Carmelo stood for several moments in stunned disbelief after the final buzzer. He said later that his reaction was spurred by both Nowitzki's shot and the Knicks' season-long struggles.
"Just a lot of that going on. The accumulation of us losing again. Just trying to take all of that in," Anthony said.
The defeat Monday dropped the Knicks six games out of the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot with 25 games to play. New York is a season-worst 15 games under .500.
"We've got to find a way to climb out," J.R. Smith said.
For a brief moment in the fourth quarter, Monday's game looked like one the Knicks would steal.
They rebounded from a six-point deficit with 1:27 to play thanks to a three-point play from Tyson Chandler and a 3-pointer from Anthony.
But their final possession was a disaster, resulting in a 24-second violation. With seconds to play, Nowitzki nailed a jumper at the top of the key with Anthony inches away.
"It’s like a needle in the balloon there," Anthony said. "It sucks all the air out of you. There’s really nothing that I can say at that moment."
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