After a home loss to the lowly Los Angeles Laker, New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony and Jeff Hornacek let loose on their team.
Monday night’s defeat against the Los Angeles Lakers was the worst of the season for the New York Knicks. Playing at home against a young team that had dropped 12 road games in a row seemed like a relief following a deflating loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. So much for that.
Carmelo Anthony (26 points, 10-17 FG) feasted on one of the league’s worst defenses, but again it was the defense that let the team down. The Knicks were lazy in their effort right out of the gate, allowing the Lakers to score 29 points on five three-pointers in the first quarter.
The Lakers finished with a staggering 64 points in the paint, 27 second chance points, and 20 offensive rebounds.
According to NBA.com, the Knicks contested 62.7 percent of the Lakers shots while Los Angeles contested 72 percent of New York’s attempts. The Knicks were outhustled by a young team that wanted it more.
Anthony and head coach Jeff Hornacek took notice.
Per Ian Begley of ESPN New York, Hornacek rightfully called his team out.
“You’ve got to play for some pride,” the coach said after the game. “If you’re just going to come out and just play basketball, then you’re in the wrong level.”
Melo compounded on what his coach said.
“Pride, effort, however you want to put it, it just wasn’t there,” Anthony said. “My word is effort. Coach’s word is pride. It just wasn’t there tonight.”
Courtney Lee issued an apology to the fans on Tuesday for what the team’s performance on Monday night.
“Last night that effort was pretty bad, man,” Lee said at practice. “Definitely got to apologize to the fans and everybody that spent their hard-earned money to come watch us play. We definitely didn’t show up and compete at a level that we needed to compete at to win the game, especially in the situation we’re in right now and where we’re trying to go.”
Up Next: The schedule doesn’t get any easier when the Knicks host the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, February 8, at 8:00 p.m. ET.