Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Another Dead End for 'Melo

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Another Dead End for 'Melo

Article excerpt

BOSTON -- Carmelo Anthony was the last player off the bus, out of the bitter wind and blowing snow and into the catacombs of TD Garden, slowly walking down the hallways to face another night too much like every other one.

Anthony would put the Knicks on his shoulders and carry them as far as he could. But in the end there wasn't enough help, not enough defense, not enough open shots falling and not enough coaching. And a lead disappeared in the final three minutes, the Boston Celtics escaping with a 105-104 win. For the Knicks, it was their 16th loss in the past 19 games.

Anthony scored 30 points, the biggest coming on a step-back jumper with 21.4 seconds left, briefly giving the Knicks the lead back after a Boston run that saw the Celtics wipe out an eight- point deficit to take a one-point lead as Knicks interim coach Kurt Rambis left Kristaps Porzingis on the bench until the final 3.3 seconds. But Avery Bradley blew through the Knicks' defense for the go-ahead bucket with 17.7 seconds left and Anthony's desperation three-point attempt wasn't close.

The first time that the reality set in three years ago, that he would be on the outside looking in when the playoffs began, Anthony swore he never wanted to go through it again. But now, as he faces the third straight losing season while his fellow stars and friends ready for the postseason, Anthony admitted he needs to find a way out.

He wasn't saying he wanted out of New York, even if that may be the easiest path, but he has simply struggled to figure out where it has all gone wrong. Anthony signed on for five years after the first disappointment but his insistence on a belief in team president Phil Jackson is harder to maintain as the troubles have mounted.

Anthony is the leader on a Knicks team slumping through a frustrating, losing season, the visible face left out to absorb the boos and the blame every game, while his close friends such as Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Paul are readying for the playoffs.

"I don't think envy is kind of the right word," Anthony said before the Knicks morning workout at TD Garden. "I do look at my peers and say, 'Damn, what am I doing wrong? …

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