Aşık double-double helps Pelicans win
Pelicans center Ömer Aşık battles for a rebound with New York Knicks center Cole Aldrich.Turkish center Ömer Aşık posted the 45th double-double of his NBA career with 16 points and 14 rebounds as the New Orleans Pelicans beat the New York Knicks 104-93 on Dec. 9, handing New York a ninth straight defeat.
Tyreke Evans, who led his team with 27 point, netted eight points and Aşık had seven during a fourth quarter in which New Orleans out-scored New York 27-20.
Amare Stoudemire scored a season-high 26 points for New York, but Carmelo Anthony was held to a subdued 17 that included just two points in the final period.
The game came a day after New York Knicks President Phil Jackson told reporters he was “pretty disappointed” in the team’s record. Now 4-19, they are off to the worst start franchise history.
Jackson, a Hall of Famer who has won a record 13 NBA titles as a player and coach, was named president of the Knicks in March.
In June, Derek Fisher reunited with his old mentor as the team’s new head coach, saying he wanted to revive a championship culture in New York.
It’s been slow going, and Jackson said that while the Knicks have often been competitive in games “Right now we have a loser’s mentality because we’re not finishing games. We have to break through that zone.”
Even eccentric ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman weighed in on the Knicks, saying he felt for his former coach Jackson and denigrating Fisher’s coaching ability.
“I don’t know what’s up with that team,” Rodman said on a publicity trip to New York.
Contemplating Jackson’s comments, Anthony said he didn’t necessarily agree with the assessment, but he thought he understood what Jackson meant.
“When it comes to having a loser’s mentality,” Anthony said, “what I can take from that, I think when you lose games consistently the same way that we’re losing games, I think it’s easy to get accustomed to kind of trying not to lose rather than trying to win games.
“I think that’s where we’re at as a team right now.
“I don’t like to lose,” he added. “I know we don’t have a losing mentality. I just know that when you’re losing basketball games, it’s easier to figure out how not to lose than it is how to win games.”