CARMELO'S COMPLAINT: With the Knicks struggling to gel defensively, Carmelo Anthony said he hopes the coaching staff will simplify the X's and O's to make it easier for the new guys.
"We're all frustrated," D'Antoni said. "We have to get better defensively. We're going to be a good offensive team. It's the hurdle we have to get over. It's going to be the mark if we're going to be a good team or not. Our major concern is can we be good defensively, and we'll see. We're going to work at it."
According to NBA.com, the telling stat of the Melo-'Mare combo is through the 344 minutes when they are both on the floor together, the Knicks are just a plus-1. That might be as telling about their defensive instincts as whether they can share the ball.
Knicks president Donnie Walsh also admitted concern.
"I knew it would take time, particularly defensively," Walsh said. "You can sit and talk about it all you want but when you get on the floor you have to react real quick, and it's hard for the new guys coming in to react to one another that quickly. They played differently in Denver. It's hard to adjust."
League sources pronounced Walsh mixed on the trade because of all the young assets he gave up, including the inclusion of Mozgov.
"After the trade I told you that we know what we need," Walsh said, referring to center. "We still have to add to this team. We know where our weaknesses are. It hasn't changed."
Adding a legit center this summer won't be easy without cap space or considerable trade pawns. The center they face tonight, Marc Gasol, is a free agent, but Walsh would have to wheel a sign-and-trade.
Anthony acknowledged it's not a lot of time to meld the new group to play team defense, with 16 games left and playoffs less than a month away.
"If you look at us on paper, see myself, Amar'e, Chauncey [Billups], you'd say our record would be better," Anthony said. "Sometimes you got to take steps backward to go forward. We're losing some games we shouldn't be losing. That's the frustrating part."
The Pacers scored 13 points in the final 2:30 to repel the Knicks.
"We're trying to get good at it in a short period of time," Anthony said. "Everybody on this team knows what kind of process it will be. It's a tough one. Nobody said it was going to be easy. Guys are still trying to figure it out."
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knick...xzz1Gumy wzSt