But he knows he has to do more to help the team rebound from its historically bad start.
“I have to. That’s just my mentality,” Anthony told reporters on Tuesday. “We’re losing. Me being a big part of this team and this organization, I’ll always put that onus on myself and put that on my shoulders to feel like I have to do more. If I do more then I feel like everybody else will do more. That’s just my own personal mentality.”
Anthony didn’t seem to do much more in the Knicks’ loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.
He had a quiet 17 points on just 11 shots in 39 minutes. The 11 shots were a season-low for Anthony in a game in which he was fully healthy.
The loss was the ninth straight for the Knicks. At 4-19, New York is off to the worst start in franchise history through 23 games. The Knicks alarmingly have one more loss than the Philadelphia 76ers, a team who some have accused of losing on purpose to improve their chances in the NBA draft lottery.
That's not good.
Knicks president Phil Jackson offered a theory on why the Knicks have struggled on Monday. In a chat with reporters, Jackson said he thought the Knicks had a “loser’s mentality” due in part to their penchant to drop close games.
Seven of the Knicks’ past nine losses have been by seven points or fewer.
Anthony addressed Jackson’s comments on Tuesday.
“I don’t like to lose. I don’t like to see us sitting at 4-18 right now,” Anthony said before the Pelicans game. “Loser’s mentality, I think a lot of people will kind of decipher that in their own different ways. You ask 10 people, you’re going to get 10 different opinions of what that means. I know we don’t have a losing mentality. I just know that when you’re losing basketball games it’s easier to figure out how not to lose than it is how to win games.”
Jackson said on Monday that he was pleased with Anthony’s play but added that he’d like his star forward to do a little more on defense and attack the offensive glass.
“As far as doing those things, I go out there and try to do them: offensive rebounds, share the ball, play D, be there for my team, and do some of the little things other than score the basketball,” Anthony said. “It’s hard for me to answer those questions when I don’t know exactly what was said and how it was said, and what was the question that was asked. So I can’t answer that question.”
According to one advanced metric, Anthony has struggled thus far on defense. He is last among 78 NBA small forwards in defensive real plus-minus. The stat measures a player's estimated on-court impact on team defensive performance, based on points allowed per 100 defensive possessions.
So it makes sense that Jackson would ask for a little more from Anthony on the defensive end.
Jackson also mentioned on Monday that some Knicks were resistant to the change in culture that he and head coach Derek Fisher are trying to implement.
Fisher addressed that idea on Tuesday.
“I think it’s just human nature. Just change in general is hard for all of us to accept,” he said. “It’s not about not accepting the triangle [offense] or the coaching or that guys don’t want to do it. Change is hard. And that’s what we’re going through right now, where eventually you get there if you stay with it. And we just have to continue to push that message to our players, and I think they believe it. It’s just hard to do that when you don’t win doing it a certain way.”
Question: Do you think Carmelo has to do more for the Knicks?