Carmelo Anthony on watching J.R. Smith take the final shot: ‘Of course I want it’
Carmelo Anthony stood helpless in the waning moments of Wednesday’s 97-95 loss to the Orlando Magic at the Madison Square Garden as his New York Knicks teammate J.R. Smith hoisted up an off-balance poor three-point attempt with 0.6 seconds left on the clock that clanked off the backboard.
Had Smith made the shot, the Knicks would have had a thrilling, buzzer-beating win over the Magic, snapping a five-game losing streak. But he did not. The shot selection was arguably a poor one at best.
Anthony can be seen throwing up his arms, perhaps in frustration, as Smith chucked one up clumsily at the backboard.
When asked by reporters after the game if he wished the ball would have found him in the closing seconds, Anthony seemed annoyed by the perceived utter ridiculousness of the question before answering.
“I think that is a rhetorical question,” Anthony said, via the New York Post. “Of course I want it.”
Anthony, who scored 27 points on an exceptional 10-17 shooting, seemingly did give his teammate an out for not getting the ball to the team’s go-to guy in the clutch, otherwise known as Anthony.
“Whether he could have got it to me or not,” Anthony opined. “That’s a different question.”
Smith, meanwhile, defended his choice of shot.
“I think we went with the best shot,” Smith said after the loss, per ESPN.com. “I think it was the right shot, and I just didn’t make it.”
Smith further defended himself over the inference that Anthony should have taken the shot.
“If I forced that into him, what kind of shot is he really going to have?” Smith asked. “A turnaround fadeaway. It’s not the best shot we want. I don’t think it’s enough [time] for him to set his feet and do what he wanted to do.”
As far as Smith taking the final shot is concerned, looking at the video, Anthony is correct in asserting that Smith might not have been able to get him the ball. Whether that was due to a poorly designed play or not, chances are near certain that the ball was supposed to end up in Carmelo’s hands in crunch time.
Anthony did say, however, that he thinks the Knicks ran the right offensive set.
“I thought we ran the play that was designed,” he said.
The odds are even greater that the Knicks will discuss and work on game-ending situations in the near future to ensure their team’s Alpha Male gets more chances to take the final shot than not.
The losing streak, which leaves the Knicks with a woeful 2-7 record, seems to be getting to Anthony.
“Losing is tough. I thought this was a game we could have went out there and got tonight, kind of get that monkey off our back, so this is a tough one to swallow,” he said.
Anthony pledged to keep at it, though.
“I don’t want to keep saying the same thing, but we’ve got to stay with it. I have to keep saying the same thing. I don’t want to,” Anthony lamented. “Hopefully we get a chance to turn this thing around, we have another opportunity Friday.”
The Knicks host the Utah Jazz (3-6) on Friday at MSG, a team that is on a losing streak of its own, dropping its last two games. If there is a good time to right this ship before it starts to sink, Friday would be the night.