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Struggling Knicks looking for answers

Associated Press

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The New York Knicks aren’t panicking, at least not yet. But after dropping five consecutive games at home, they are frustrated and aware they need to get things turned around quickly.

“We keep digging ourselves deeper and deeper — I know it’s early in the season, you’ve got to take it day by day — but at the rate this is going, we’re going to be in too deep of a hole to dig out,” All-Star Carmelo Anthony said.

The Knicks lost 110-90 to the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, another alarming night in a season that’s already produced plenty of concerns. The Knicks admitted they didn’t play with defensive intensity or a fighting spirit, which is far worse than just playing poorly.

“It ain’t got nothing to do with making shots or missing shots. We’re just not doing it on the other end,” Anthony said. “We’re not defending, we’re not giving no effort. We’re not playing right now.”

After a rare season of stability in 2012-13, the Knicks are a mess again.

“I think everything that we’re doing is correctable, but I think effort has got to come behind it a little bit more and we’ve got to be true to ourselves, because we’re not playing well as a unit right now,” coach Mike Woodson said. “We’re just not.”

The Knicks are 3-6 after winning 54 games last season and their first Atlantic Division title since 1994. They were blown out twice in a week on their home floor and things might be getting worse at home: The next team to visit is Indiana, which shares the NBA’s best record and pushed the Knicks around while ousting them in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

J.R. Smith shot 3-for-18 Saturday and fell to 8-for-43 for the season at Madison Square Garden. Woodson said he would re-evaluate Smith’s position in the starting lineup, and he’s still seeking the best use of Amare Stoudemire, who is being limited to about 10 minutes a game after three knee surgeries in the last year.


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