Knicks Lose to Lowly Bucks as Carmelo Anthony Can't Do It All by Himself

Knicks must get increased production from entire roster in order to put an end to their losing ways

By Neil Bisman
|  Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014  |  Updated 11:47 AM EDT
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Carmelo Anthony isn't getting much help this season from his supporting cast.

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It’s only Feb. 4, and with Monday night’s embarrassing 101-98 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Knicks have already surpassed the amount of games they lost all of last season.
 
Losing to the Bucks, the worst team in the NBA, is bad enough – though the production the Knicks have been getting from much of their roster might be even worse.
 
Right now, the Knicks consist of Carmelo Anthony and a bunch of other guys.
 
J.R. Smith chipped in with 30 points off the bench to go along with Anthony’s 36 points Monday night, and the seven other Knicks who saw action combined for just 32 points.
 
Knicks not named Smith or Anthony shot just 12 of 36 from the field.
 
Anthony has gained a reputation throughout his career as being somewhat of a ball hog, but with this roster, who is he supposed to pass it to?
 
Smith is a capable scorer on any given night, however, you never know when that night is going to be. While Smith has played much better of late, he’s been far too inconsistent over the first few months of the season and is usually not worth the headache.
 
Point guard Raymond Felton continues to look lousy on both ends of the floor – although at least he is consistent about it. This season, Felton is averaging a career-low in points per game and has been nothing but a liability on defense.  
 
Felton didn’t put up much of a fight in allowing Brandon Knight to score Milwaukee’s final five points of the night, including a game-winning three pointer with just over a second remaining.
 
One of the biggest knocks on Felton has always been his inability to stay in shape and that’s proven to be the case this year as well.
 
Iman Shumpert, Felton’s fellow starter in the backcourt, never known as much of an offensive threat to begin with, has somehow seen his shooting numbers go down from levels that were already far too low.
 
Shumpert’s field goal percentage of 38.5 doesn’t even rank in the top 30 among shooting guards.
 
Smith also happens to miss the cut, ranking slightly ahead of Shumpert at 32nd.
 
Shumpert had just one season in college where he narrowly shot over 40-percent from the field, so it’s hard to imagine him ever developing any sort of offense.
 
As the Knicks continue to go smaller, Pablo Prigioni’s insertion into the starting lineup has been met with mixed results.
 
Prigioni is a decent enough passer but isn’t going to give you much else.
 
Center Tyson Chandler has been a step slow this year, and in his 13th season in the NBA, it appears as if all those injuries and minutes played are starting to catch up to him.
 
He’s seeing less minutes than a season ago, leading to a decrease in some of Chandler's averages, and he’s already missed 24 of the team’s 48 games.
 
Off the bench, rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. has been one of the few bright spots on the team.
 
In the six games since Andrea Bargnani went down with a torn ligament in his left elbow, Hardaway has seen an increase in playing time and is averaging a little over 16 points per game over that span.
 
If Hardaway can continue to shoot well from the field, it could be just a matter of time before he takes the starting job away from Shumpert – who appears to be better suited for the bench anyway.
 
Bargnani started almost every game he appeared in before getting hurt and it would be interesting to see him in more of a reserve role as well.
 
Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin can contribute for a few minutes at a time, but they’re always just one play away from getting banged up.
 
Toure’ Murry and Jeremy Tyler have only seen limited action, yet have played well when they’ve stepped on the court. The Knicks might as well give them some additional minutes if the rest of the team isn’t going to produce.
 
Coach Mike Woodson has removed both Beno Udrih and Metta World Peace from the rotation, and hasn't given any indication they'll be back anytime soon.
 
With not even enough salary cap space to a take a chance on the recently released Andrew Bynum, this is the roster for now.
 
The Knicks do have Stoudemire’s expiring contract to work with as a trading chip, though it remains to be seen what they’ll be able to get for him.
 
Given the current supporting cast, the front office has provided Anthony with more than a few reasons to opt out of his deal after the season and explore his options in free agency.
 
And at this point, could you really blame Anthony if he were to leave town and sign elsewhere?

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