Knicks F Carmelo Anthony had 13 points, six rebounds, and five assists during Tuesday night's overtime loss to the Suns in Phoenix.
It was Anthony's second consecutive 13-point game, and he is shooting a career-low 42 percent from the field on the season and an even less efficient 39 percent in December.
He is averaging 22 points, 6.1 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 25 games this season.
Following an overtime loss that came down to the wire, it's easy to pick out any one instance or possession in particular as the reason the Knicks fell to Phoenix.
It was a two-point loss and the Knicks held decent leads throughout, so they were obviously close to a victory. Anthony's struggles certainly dragged his team down quite a bit.
The Knicks have the talent necessary to compete and arguably even stay afloat without Anthony at the top of his game. That might only be the second (the 2012-13 season) time New York can say that over the course of his tenure. But even as Kristaps Porzingis continues to rise, Anthony is the centerpiece of this team as currently constructed. Unfortunately, he's not acting like it.
Much like Derrick Rose stated about his game this season, Anthony has had to make sacrifices. He's leaning on teammates, learning how to trust and sometimes even defer to them. While he wouldn't be one to openly admit it, could that subconsciously be throwing off his game? Could he be nursing a nagging injury? Of course, all of this is merely speculativy. Anthony, however, has never quite gone through such a slump as a Knick.
Despite all of the support he has around him, Anthony still serves an important role. The Knicks need a closer, and he's failed to deliver in crunch time.