At the end of what was a horrendous shooting performance, New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek trusted Carmelo Anthony to take the big shot.
Carmelo Anthony is in the midst of one of the worst shooting stretches of his 14-year NBA career. Over the past three games, he’s shot 16-of-60 from the field and 3-of-14 from beyond the arc—shooting marks of 26.7 and 21.4 percent.
Fortunately for the New York Knicks, head coach Jeff Hornacek put his trust into Anthony with the game on the line against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Knicks blew a 17-point fourth quarter lead on the road against the Timberwolves and Anthony finished with a +/- of -17. All of that was quickly overlooked when he made the only play that truly mattered: a game-winning shot over Andrew Wiggins.
According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, Hornacek overlooked a poor shooting performance and trusted his star’s track record of stepping up in the clutch.
“He’s done it for years,’’ Hornacek said. “We felt we got the ball to Melo, he’d get us a good shot. This may happen a lot with Melo making that big shot for us. I was in Utah once and John Stockton hit seven, eight of them in one year. Some years you nail every one of them. Hopefully that will be the case this year.’’
That gamble paid off.
Anthony hit a midrange jump shot over Wiggins’ outstretched arm with 2.3 seconds remaining on the game clock. It was a massive shot for a Knicks team that simply couldn’t afford to lose this game.
With the Knicks reeling from four consecutive road losses and a 1-6 road record overall, Anthony stepped up.
On the next possession, Anthony deflected Minnesota’s inbound pass to secure the victory for the Knicks.
Anthony’s late-game heroics helped the Knicks achieve a .500 record going into the month of December. There are certainly issues that must be worked out, but Hornacek is confident he can trust Anthony with the game on the line.
For those who are quick to forget, the shot against Minnesota was Anthony’s second game-winner in a span of five days.
Anthony is a star you can trust with the game on the line.