Is this the best the Knicks have to offer?

BOSTON -- Carmelo Anthony walked slowly to the visitors bench with a look of frustration late Sunday night. The Knicks were on their way to losing their fourth straight, 100-91 to the Boston Celtics, and falling four games below .500 for the second time this season.

And it didn't seem to sit well with the star forward.

"I'm happy with the effort we gave, but as far as the losing -- I'm not happy about that," Anthony said about an hour after the game.

The season for the Knicks so far has been filled with stops and starts, but Sunday night felt like a bit of a reality check. New York never really threatened its division rival, save for a late fourth-quarter rally, and seemed a step below in both execution and talent. The loss left the Knicks at 3-13 against teams with records better than .500.

That, of course, doesn't bode well for a club hoping to sneak into one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. But that's a discussion for another day.

More pressing at the moment is the loss to Boston further exposed some of the Knicks' glaring issues. They include:

Inconsistent bench play. New York's reserves missed 18 of 30 shots and were outscored by Boston's bench 44-32. Coach Derek Fisher is still trying to find a unit that can run the offense well. That's one reason he played Sasha Vujacic for 15 minutes Sunday and Jerian Grant did not play.

"We're still trying to find a way to have five guys that are playing together, flowing together. Sasha obviously has familiarity and history with what we're trying to do offensively," Fisher said. "We continue to search for how to get ourselves organized and we feel like Sasha gave us a chance to do so."

Spotty guard play. Jose Calderon had two points on 1-for-3 shooting, with one assist and one turnover in 22 minutes against Boston. Isaiah Thomas had little trouble getting to the basket when guarded by Calderon. Arron Afflalo also had a rough night. He missed 8 of 10 shots and the Knicks were outscored by nine in his 33 minutes on the court.

The backcourt issues could be addressed via a trade, but the Knicks have been hesitant to make any move that affects their future flexibility. So it may be difficult for the club to acquire an impact player via the trade market.

Porzingis' shot. Kristaps Porzingis’ final line was strong: 16 points, 12 rebounds. But he missed 9 of 13 shots in his 28 minutes. The rookie is shooting just 35 percent in his last five games.

"I'm getting a lot of looks, and the teammates, they're giving me the ball, they're trusting my shots," Porzingis said. "They know I can make those shots. I'm just not making them. But I can feel it's right there. It's just in-and-out or a little long, little too short. It's right there."

One positive for the Knicks is the players appear to be united amid all of the losing.

"We have a positive attitude. We just got to figure out ways to pull the game out and win basketball games," Anthony said. "The [positive] attitude is not going anywhere. I won't allow that."

Anthony buying in is probably one of the best things the Knicks have going for them right now. If he starts to feel discouraged, it may affect his younger teammates and their approach. But Anthony and the Knicks might also have to get used to what they've seen over the first two months.

New York doesn't seem to be in position to make any significant changes via the trade market, so this might be the new reality for the Knicks in 2015-16: a team struggling to stay near .500, failing against superior competition and trying to find its way in an improved Eastern Conference.