NEW YORK -- After scoring just nine points on 12 shots in a 105-88 loss to the Miami Heat, Knicks star Carmelo Anthony said he is "at peace" with playing a lesser role for the remainder of the season to allow the team to take a longer look at its younger players.
"I see the writing on the wall. I see what it is," Anthony said late Wednesday night. "I see what they're trying to do, and it's just me accepting that. That's what puts me at peace. Just knowing and understanding how things work. I'm at peace with that."
Mathematically eliminated from the playoffs on Wednesday, the Knicks (28-47) are giving opportunities to younger players on the roster to see whether they fit into their future plans.
Anthony said he understands the approach.
"I don't think me going out there, trying to score 30 and 40 every night and playing that way, is going to help them out at this point," Anthony said after failing to score in double figures for just the third time all season. "I think it's more about getting that experience and letting them go out there and play through that right now. It's challenging, but I think it's for the greater good for everybody on this team."
The Knicks, who have missed the playoffs in each of the past four seasons, face another offseason with uncertainty under team president Phil Jackson. The club likely will have a top-10 draft pick and could have as much as $25 million to spend in free agency, depending on how it proceeds with free-agent-to-be Derrick Rose.
Anthony's future is also uncertain. The Knicks, under Jackson's directive, spoke to at least three teams before the trade deadline about potential Anthony trades.
Anthony has a no-trade clause and said the Knicks never approached him with an official trade offer before the deadline. The club might revisit its attempts to deal Anthony this offseason.
On Wednesday, Anthony reflected on another season in New York that will end without a playoff appearance.
"It seemed like we had so many ups and downs this season that we couldn't get on a consistent path," Anthony said. "Throughout this whole season, we had one stretch of playing good basketball. That was early on in the season. Things shifted after that."