LOS ANGELES - This isn't the start New York Knicks rookie head coach Derek Fisher envisioned. At 5-29, the Knicks have the most losses in the NBA.
But star forward Carmelo Anthony says it could be far, far worse for the Knicks with anyone but Fisher at the helm during this star-crossed season.
"I think if it was anybody else in his position, I think this probably would've crumbled already," Anthony said after scoring 19 points in 29 minutes. "I think he's doing a great job of keeping everybody focused on the task at hand and believing in what we're trying to do."
This season, Anthony said, has "definitely [been] a test for me." The Knicks already have had losing streaks of 10, nine and six games this season. Some of that can be blamed on injuries -- they've been without key players like Anthony, J.R. Smith, Amare Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, and Iman Shumpert -- for large stretches of the season. Some of it has been difficulty adjusting to the culture change Fisher and new Knicks president Phil Jackson have tried to instill in New York. Some is a lack of depth and talent on the roster as a whole.
Whatever the case, the losing has been awful for everyone involved to endure.
"I don't really like doing the New Year's resolution, but I just want 2015 to be better than 2014," Anthony said. "We've got to find a win. We can't be thinking about the turnaround. We've got to find a win first and see what happens from there."
Anthony has been dealing with a sore left knee for most of the season. He has openly speculated he might eventually have to shut it down for an extended period if the pain grows worse. Earlier this week, he admitted he might not even make it to the All-Star Game, which is in New York this year.
"It's tough. Some days you're able to do some things, some days you're not," Anthony said. "Some days it's tough to even run around and cut and jump. And then other days I come in and I don't really feel it.
"I'm playing because I love to play and I want to play. I know what I can tolerate and what I can't tolerate. The games I feel like I can't tolerate it, I'm not going to play."
Anthony has said surgery is a "last resort" and that he's hoping to avoid anything of that nature until after the season. Asked if he'd considered the Orthokine treatments that Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant has regularly flown to Germany to have performed on his knee as he aged into his mid-30s, Anthony smiled and said, "I've had multiple conversations with multiple people. Regular people, people who have had similar situations as me, and everybody has their own opinion. I take everything in stride and when that time comes, I'll take it into consideration."
Jackson watched the first half of Wednesday's loss from the stands, about 15 rows up from behind the Knicks bench. He watched the second half from a suite, with his fiancée, Lakers president Jeanie Buss. It was the first road game he's attended this season. The Knicks have been in Los Angeles for the past three days, at the end of a three-game West Coast road trip. They return home to face Detroit on Friday.