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Knicks frustrated, confused with lack of effort

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 17, 2013 at 5:23 pm •  Published: November 17, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Widespread Panic arrived at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

OK, that's just the name of a band that was performing, not the feeling surrounding the basketball team that was busy losing again in another part of the arena.

The New York Knicks aren't panicking, at least not yet. But after dropping five straight games at home, they are frustrated and confused, 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, 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. The Sixth Man of the Year who was promoted to the starting lineup might be shooting his way back to a reserve role. The $100 million former All-Star wants more minutes, even though he and the team look bad in the limited ones he is playing.

"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.

New York loaded up on older players last season, and Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas broke down and Jason Kidd ran out of gas before the finish line. But first they helped provide the veteran leadership this team sorely lacks, especially while Tyson Chandler is sidelined with a broken leg.

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