Knicks center Enes Kanter is among the players frustrated by New York's 1-17 stretch and outside talk of tanking.
"I'm frustrated by losing, for sure. But I came here to win games. I didn't come here to get a good lottery pick," Kanter said, according to the New York Post's Fred Kerber. "I came here to win games and make the playoffs. So games like this are just weird. They make me think, 'Why am I sitting?' It's weird ..."
Though Kanter had 14 points and 10 rebounds in Thursday's 118-110 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, he said New York has a problem finishing out games, especially considering the Knicks led 91-83 entering the fourth quarter but were outscored 35-19.
"I think in the fourth quarter we don't know how to close the games," Kanter said, according to the New York Post's Jonathan Lehman, after the Knicks' ninth loss in a row.
That issue is prevalent with many other players on the team. Emmanuel Mudiay, for example, scored just two of his 12 points after the first quarter. With 2:26 remaining and the Knicks down 107-106, Mudiay's layup was blocked by Joel Embiid, whose 76ers turned the rebound into a wide open JJ Redick 3-pointer and gave Philadelphia a four-point lead.
Joel Embiid blocks Emmanuel Mudiay then stares him down! pic.twitter.com/UJb61DuF3L- Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) March 16, 2018
"We just want to see these guys' competitiveness late in games," Hornacek said, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "There was an opportunity to take a charge -- a game-winning play -- and we didn't do it."
Added Mudiay, who has averaged 10.5 points and 4.7 assists in 13 games with New York: "I've never lost this many games in a row. It's definitely frustrating and I'm not happy about it because I know I'm not a loser, I know the people in here are not losers, it's just we have to figure out a way."