Bobcats-Knicks Preview


Carmelo Anthony attributes the New York Knicks' early deficits during their slump to being unsure of themselves on the offensive end of the floor, causing miscommunication that is leading to errors.

They'll look to get on the same page and end a two-game slide Tuesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats, who are looking to avoid a 17th consecutive road loss.

The Knicks (1-2) trailed by 10 after one quarter before their comeback bid fell short in an 82-81 loss to Chicago on Thursday, then fell behind by 21 after the first 12 minutes in Sunday's 109-100 home loss to Minnesota.

Anthony scored 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to help New York pull within two points of the Timberwolves with less than five minutes remaining, but he has shot 35.6 percent while committing nine turnovers over the last two contests.

"I think we're out there second-guessing ourselves, and when you do that you're going to make mistakes," Anthony said. "You see the difference when we're out there just playing and having fun (late in the game). We're going with our gut, going with our instinct. It's night and day.

"It's frustrating, but we can correct that."

The Knicks are averaging 17.7 turnovers, and coach Mike Woodson was concerned with the lack of energy at the start of the last contest.

"You just can't come out on your home court and dig a hole," he said.

Anthony, though, doesn't believe the Knicks are far from where they want to be.

"We've just got to figure it out," Anthony said. "There's no need to panic. It's three games into the season."

The Bobcats (1-2) aren't panicking either, though they're hoping Al Jefferson's sprained ankle heals soon. He scored 13 points and had eight rebounds in 30 minutes of Wednesday's season-opening loss to Houston while playing through the injury, but has sat out the last two and won't be available for this contest.

Charlotte trailed by 18 at the end of the first quarter and fell 105-84 at New Orleans on Saturday. It is shooting just 39.5 percent and hasn't won on the road since beating Orlando on Feb. 19.

''It was bad,'' said Gerald Henderson, who shot 3 of 10 from the field and scored seven points. ''We didn't come out with the focus we needed. We made a lot of mistakes, especially at the start of the game.''

The Bobcats have dropped 26 of 28 away from home, with both victories coming against the Magic.

"What we're focused on is playing on the road in general," coach Steve Clifford said. "It's a challenge for any team at any level."

Ramon Sessions scored a team-best 22 points in the last contest, and Clifford has been impressed with the seventh-year point guard, who is averaging 15.0 points off the bench.

"He's always ready, he's a good worker every day and he understands this league," Clifford said. "He understands how he has to play to play well."

Now he's hoping his entire team can follow that example.

"We like to fight, we have an edge," Clifford said. "Whenever things go poorly or really well, you're always looking to get the right response from the group. These guys were disappointed the other night and I think we'll come out (Tuesday) and play a good game."

Henderson scored 27 points and Bronx native Kemba Walker had 23 and 13 assists in Charlotte's 106-95 win April 15 to end a five-game losing streak to the Knicks, who were resting most of their top players in preparation for the playoffs.

New York won't play again until visiting Charlotte on Friday, while the Bobcats host Toronto on Wednesday.