The Knicks have been 6-13 since acquiring Anthony in February. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
When the New York Knicks traded for the All-Star small-forward in Carmelo Anthony, the Big Apple was expecting great things from him. Anthony wanted out of Denver, but it looks like he wants to be with that team one more time after New York dropped their sixth straight loss, falling to the Charlotte Bobcats, 114-106.

“For the most part, these are teams we should be beating,” Anthony said. “We talk about that among each other — that some of these teams shouldn’t even be on the court with us. But they’re winning games and it’s just something we have to figure out.”

Anthony did play well, but it wasn’t enough. During this whole time New York has struggled, Anthony has been, well, a diva. Just plain as that. A diva. Anthony is not being a team player and continues to rat his teammates out. If you look at the picture above, this is Anthony reacting to a call he didn’t like. He just isn’t in his (no pun intended) mellow mood.

The Bobcats got as far as a 20-point lead, but Anthony went on a roll to cut the deficit to 110-106 with nearly a minute left in the game. However, after that, New York would not score again.

“We’ve got a lot of talent, but as you know, talent isn’t everything,” said Chauncey Billupa. “Camaraderie and cohesiveness and being a good team beats talent every day of the week. When we get to a point where we get that, combined with the talent, we’re going to be a very dangerous team.”

The Bobcats played great against the New York, shooting 47 percent and leading in the rebounding battle, 46-39. New York played bad defense.

“I don’t care how good your offense is, you’ve really got to score 120-something to beat a team like that,” Billups said. “And that’s just too much pressure on your offense. Our defense is what’s going to make or break us, I believe.”

Since acquiring Anthony, the Knicks haven’t been able to play defense at all. They’ve been playing much worse defense since acquiring him on February 22, 2011. This has taken a big toll on the team. The turning point came in a loss against the Detroit Pistons. That was when we knew the Knicks couldn’t play defense, even if their life was depended on it.

New York gave up key big men like Anthony Randolph and Timofey Mozgov. Both have been playing with their new teams, respectively. Randolph just never received a chance to do his magic with New York. Now he is in Minnesota, playing very solid. His last two games have been great. He had 34 points and eleven rebounds against Dallas and then went 24-15 versus Oklahoma City. Mozgov hasn’t done much, but he is looking to help a lot with this team.

This has hurt New York. Amare Stoudemire has been showing more signs of fatigue. He only could put up 14 points and six rebounds. There is no big men to help him. Sure, he has Ronny Turiaf, Shawne Wiliams, and Jared Jeffries, but it just isn’t good enough. Williams is too small and is capable of an outside shooter. Jeffries and Turiaf can play defense, but where is the offense? I am sure they would kill for having Randolph and Mozgov. Heck, they’d probably would want Eddy Curry back to at least get some bulk!
Denver has been 11-4 since letting go of Anthony. (Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images)
It’s really sad how the Knicks have become now. It just kind of feels like when the Knicks got Stephon Marbury. From that point, the Knicks turned into a laughingstock and went downhill. They though Marbury would be the team’s savior, but it never happened. And Anthony has been doing much of the same. He’s not being a team player and his squad continues to struggle.

Since acquiring Anthony in the 13-player, blockbuster trade, the Knicks have been 6-15, including a six-game losing-streak they are on right now. The recently lost out on the sixth seed as the Philadelphia 76ers continue to play great. They are now on the edge of possibly even losing the seventh seed to the Indiana Pacers, as they are only three games ahead of them. New York is now 35-38, a record that is totally unexpected. They trail the Sixers by two games, as they hold a 37-35 record.

Denver? How about them? How are they doing? Well, they are doing fantastic. The Nuggets have been 11-4 since dealing away Anthony and hold the fifth seed of the Western Conference at a 44-29 record. Denver has had a lot of players step up. Chris “Birdman” Andersen has been playing solid, having 17 points and eleven rebounds in his latest game, which was a 114-94 victory over the Washington Wizards. Danilo Gallinari has been playing great, averaging in the neighborhood of 16 points with his new team. Raymond Felton and Ty Lawson have created a solid backcourt. Since the trade, J.R. Smith has stepped up tremendously. Nene continue to play strong as well.

Since the trade, Denver has been much more improved with their defense.

“Andersen just got it going,” Washington coach Flip Saunders said. “He dominated the game in the first quarter just with his defense.”

For Detroit, everything has been going great. The players have been more energetic and it’s inspiring the city of Denver and the state of Colorado.

“Energy-wise, our bench has been better than our starters, especially with our Al and Bird,” Nuggets coach George Karl said. “Al’s been having a good roll and Bird was great tonight.”

The Nuggets bench, in fact, has been averaging over 55 points per game in the past four. They had 57 against Washington. Everyone is just syncing together.

“Our thing is just go out there and play. People don’t expect much from the bench guys,” Smith said. “We have a great bench and whenever we get out there play loose and free.”

Both teams are going at the opposite directions as expected to end the 2010-11 season. Denver is most likely to finish at fifth seed and the Knicks will continue to battle back for the sixth seed. Right now, things are looking solid back at the Rocky Mountains.

As for Carmelo and the Knicks, there is no such thing as the “Big Apple” when you head to Madison Square Garden.


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