He missed his fifth game of the season tonight, and a lingering pain in his left knee has plagued Carmelo Anthony since the second game of the season. He wasn’t able to go in the second half against Portland on Sunday, and if the knee continues to give him pain while the Knicks continue to lose — they’re 5-30, the worst start in franchise history — Derek Fisher says Anthony might decide to sit it down for the rest of the season.
‘Melo and the Knicks just haven’t been able to score this season, and the triangle has proven to be as difficult to master as many claimed coming into this year’s campaign. But how much is enough before the Knicks just cash in their chips, and call this season a wash? All the pre-season talk of a playoff berth was just that, talk, and there’s no reason to rush their $124 million man.
Fisher hinted that their might come a point when ‘Melo decides to shut it down for the year, but they’re not at that point just yet. Per ESPN New York’s Ian Begley:
“From the conversations I’ve been a part of, I think everybody is smart enough to realize, calendar wise, timing wise, that there may come a point that that’s the decision that needs to be made,” Fisher said Friday. “But [we realize] that we can’t force Carmelo to that point just yet.”
“We can’t unilaterally just say, ‘Hey, you know, you can’t play for the rest of the season because of A, B and C,'” Fisher said. “I think our medical staff, our training staff, continue to have conversations with him about where he is. He’s conversing with us about how he’s feeling, what the symptoms are. And so as each day kind of unfolds, decisions are being made. It’s not something that we’re just kind of stepping back and saying, ‘Carmelo, you kind of tell us when you don’t feel like playing anymore.'”
The pain in the knee comes and goes. “It’s tough. Some days you’re able to do some things; some days you’re not,” Anthony said after Wednesday’s loss to the Clippers, where he played over 28 minutes. “Some days it’s tough to even run around and cut and jump. And then other days I come in and I don’t really feel it.”
But how you explain the star’s prolonged absence to season ticket holders and Knicks faithful who come out to the Garden in the hopes Jackson can bring some of the magic from 1973 back? Anthony was New York’s free agent de jure this offseason, a five-year $124 million guarantee the Knicks will have someone to shoulder the scoring load for the next half decade. If one-fifth of that plan is already in the toilet, it makes sense to shut him down, even if it flies in the face of every competitive instinct he and the team might have.
The Pistons handed New York their ninth consecutive loss tonight, 97-81, with Anthony on the sideline. Some Sam Hinkie acolytes might start thinking Anthony hangs it up now, but we doubt his absence against Detroit translates into the beginning of a year-long rehabilitation.
We think he keeps battling, but if he’s not feeling better by the All-Star Game and the team continues to look miserable on the court, he might not be suiting up after the festivities conclude in New York.
Should Anthony shut it down on this lost Knicks season?
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