Carmelo Anthony is banged up and missing shots, and Amare Stoudemire is shooting less and averaging his fewest points since his rookie season.
As a result, the New York Knicks are on the verge of their longest losing streak in nearly two years, and heading out on the road to face the Charlotte Bobcats may not be the best way to end their struggles.
The Knicks look to avoid a seventh straight loss Tuesday night in Charlotte, where they’ve dropped nine of 13 all-time meetings with the Bobcats.
New York (6-10) saw its skid continue with a 119-114 double-overtime defeat to Denver at home Saturday. It was Anthony’s first game against the Nuggets since they traded him to the Knicks on Feb. 22.
Anthony led New York with 25 points but again struggled from the field, missing 20 of 30 shots. He scored 35 in a 100-86 loss to Milwaukee on Friday but went 11 of 26 from the floor and was ejected late for picking up a second technical foul.
Anthony is shooting a career-worst 40.4 percent, and that mark is at 33.3 over the past four games after spraining his ankle and hurting his non-shooting wrist in a 94-83 defeat Jan. 12 at Memphis. That was the first game of New York’s losing streak.
“Expectations are still high. Things will still be great. I’m not down,” said Anthony, who leads the Knicks with 25.7 points per game.
Anthony said that he might need to pass up some shots.
“When you’re missing shots and they’re right there and they’re not going in, you say ‘Maybe the next one, maybe the next one.’ That’s kind of the mentality that you have,” he said. “But maybe I need to stop shooting a lot, I don’t know. It’s just a bunch of stuff that goes through my mind right now.”
New York may want to get Stoudemire more involved in the offense. He’s second on the Knicks with 17.6 points per game, but that’s his lowest number since his first season in the NBA. His average of 15.2 shots is his lowest since 2008-09.
Stoudemire attempted just nine shots in 45 minutes Saturday but said afterward that he doesn’t really concern himself with the box score.
“We had a chance to win, it’s all about winning with me,” Stoudemire said. “It’s not about numbers, it’s not about shots. It’s just about winning. So we had a chance to win, we had momentum going, just couldn’t pull it out.”
Stoudemire scored 25 points in each of New York’s games against Charlotte (3-14) this season, as the teams have split two meetings at Madison Square Garden. He attempted a season-high 25 field goals in a 91-87 win Jan. 9.
Anthony averaged 27.0 points and shot 42.9 percent (18 for 42) in those two matchups.
The Bobcats have dropped four straight and 10 of 11 since beating the Knicks 118-110 on Jan. 4. They averaged 88.3 points on their three-game road trip which ended with a 97-87 loss to New Jersey on Sunday.
Already playing without Corey Maggette and DJ White, Charlotte lost starting point guard D.J. Augustin after the first quarter due to an inflamed right big toe.
Rookie Kemba Walker stepped in and scored a team-high 16 points but shot 5 for 13 and led the Bobcats with three turnovers.
“I’m going to have ups and downs,” he said. “I’m trying to be consistent. But (the condensed schedule is) tough on my body.”