Carmelo Anthony calls Knicks problems mental

The banged up Memphis Grizzlies, losers of five games in a row before  Saturday, came into Madison Square Garden and handed the New York Knicks their 10th home loss of the season already, dropping the Knicks to 8-18 overall on the season.

And the Grizzlies made it look fairly easy.

Dec 21, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots over Memphis Grizzlies power forward Jon Leuer (30) and center Kosta Koufos (41) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Memphis Grizzlies won 95-87. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

When asked about the issues the Knicks are having on the season, Carmelo Anthony confirmed what many have already expected- the problem is in their heads.

“I don’t think it’s nothing that has to do with basketball at this point,” he said of the home losses afterward. “I think it’s in our heads. It’s the mental part of it. And as individual players we’ve got to get out of our own mind, our own head and start — I don’t know what you have to do, but just start having fun again and playing basketball, and not trying to worry about too many other things that’s going on out there.”

There may be something to that statement if the Knicks problems on the court weren’t so glaring.

The offense has no rhythm as Mike Woodson even tried going without a point guard for stretches on Saturday. Even when they are healthy, the likes of Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni and Beno Udrih gives the Knicks a problem at the lead guard spot. Each is capable of some good things every now and then, but neither of the three is a legitimate starting NBA point guard who can get the job done at both ends of the floor.

Then there is the fact that the Knicks shooting guards can’t shoot. Rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. has done some nice things, but the combination of J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat.

However even if the talent were there, if the philosophy of holding the ball all day long doesn’t change, it won’t matter.

But those are just the problems at the offensive end of the floor.

The Knicks are a brutal defensive team.

They get destroyed by opposing point guards and allow the opposition a field day in the paint, even when they have their anchor Tyson Chandler in the middle.

They don’t rebound well at either end of the floor and can’t dig in to get stops when they have to.

I could go on and on about the problems of this Knicks team, but at the end of the day, while Anthony’s statement may have some merit, the biggest problem of this current group has to do with performance at each end of the floor and not the mental part of the game.

While I agree that the Knicks aren’t a mentally tough team, there are way too many holes on this roster currently filled with too many one-dimensional players.

Until that changes, the Knicks are going to be an inconsistent team for most of the year.

They will play well for small stretches, but this roster simply isn’t built to win.

Anthony can call it mental all he wants, but eventually he is going to have to realize that the Knicks simply can’t win with most of the pieces they currently have.

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Topics: Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

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