It’s been a tough first half to the 2014-15 NBA season for Carmelo Anthony. He’s battled back and knee issues, and his coach has even flirted with the idea of shutting him down for the year. Most of his health ills fall on a janky left knee, one he unfortunately tweaked in New York’s loss to Miami last night, and which could spell doom for his starting status in Sunday’s All-Star Game.
Anthony was hot in the first half when he scored 18 of his team-high 26, but a little after the eight-minute mark in the fourth quarter, he landed awkwardly on a fadeaway and went to the locker room.
Per ESPN New York:
The Knicks initially said Anthony was taken back to the locker room to have the knee retaped but later confirmed he would not return after New York’s deficit reached double figures in the final minutes.
“I think I just irritated it when I tried to plant — and I went down too low,” Anthony said. “It was too much pressure on that one leg. I felt it when I came back [to the locker room], and it was just too sore when I came back here.”
Initial tests didn’t show any structural damage, and he’s getting re-evaluated today. Still, his comments after the game show a growing frustration, and not just with New York’s lost season, one where he expected to be in the playoff hunt.
“It’s little things that I’m doing out there on the court,” Anthony said. “I’m restricted, I’m not getting that power or that bounce, and then to do something like I did today, I think I’m getting closer to that point. I think due to the lack of movement, the lack of explosiveness I have right now — I’m just trying to compensate and try to figure it out as it goes along.
“I’m not thinking about the All-Star at this point,” Anthony said. “As long as I can go to Orlando [on Tuesday] and kind of don’t feel nothing or no soreness, I’ll see what happens. It’s frustrating, not being able to be yourself and fighting through it.”
Anthony is playing host, of sorts, as the only New York-based NBA player in the big game on Sunday. For Derek Fisher and the Knicks the annual showcase takes a back seat to Anthony’s health. This year’s Knicks team is treading water with or without ‘Melo in the lineup. If the knee pain lingers, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if he shuts it down for good and has surgery some time after the break. Whether he actually plays on Sunday is still up in the air, but we could see him playing a couple minutes just to appease his New York fans and then sit and chuckle with his buddies the rest of the way.
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