An already bad season gets worse for the New York Knicks

MeloDuring the third quarter of Sunday night’s 103-98 win over the Orlando Magic, Carmelo Anthony left the game with a sprained ankle. Melo scored 19 points (on seven-of-14 shooting), three rebounds and two assists in just 24 minutes.

“It’s on,” Melo said to the New York Daily News after the game. “I still have it. It ain’t going nowhere, so I’ll be there.”

Sprained ankles can be notorious injuries for players to make a quick return from, but Melo wants to play.

“Hopefully, I’ll be there….It’s Christmas in the Garden. I don’t want to miss that game. I don’t know, I’m hard-headed sometimes when it comes to that. But I’ve got two days.”

Head coach Mike Woodson, who has been on the hot seat with the team struggling, admitted his star is no prima donna when it comes to injuries.

“Melo’s a tough kid. He don’t sit down very often,” Mike Woodson said to the NY Daily News after the game.

Raymond Felton also went down with a groin injury in the fourth quarter. He scored 13 points (on four-of-11 shooting), dished out four assists and grabbed two rebounds in 25 minutes. It was Felton’s first game back after missing six games with a hip injury.

Beno Udrih made six consecutive free throws in the closing 26 seconds to preserve a win they nearly gave away after leading by as many as 25 points.

JR Smith led the Knicks with 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists and after a slow start this season, he has been playing well as of late. He’s averaging 17.8 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game, and 5.8 assists per game in the last four games.

It brings up an interesting dilemma: If Melo were to miss a few weeks, could the team withstand his loss with the other players capable of putting the ball in the basket? That’s where the old adage, “next man up” comes into play. No one player will replace his 26.3ppg, but they have players who have no problem shooting and scoring. Losing Melo hurts but the team has volume scorers in Andrea Bargnani (14.3ppg this season and 15.1ppg for his career) and Smith (he averaged 18.1ppg and won the sixth man of the year award).

The Knicks recently welcomed the return of Tyson Chandler (10 points and 13 rebounds against the Magic) and he gives them a defender they need in the low post. Chandler’s return should help fortify a defense that has allowed 97.5ppg this season.

So, if they can get Smith to return to his sixth man of the year caliber of play and Bargs to stretch the opposing defense as a 3-point shooting power forward maybe the Knicks can tread water until Melo returns.

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Big time sports fan of the Lakers, Raiders, Angels and Dodgers. From 1990-1995, I worked at the Glendale News-Press and I had a blast. I covered mainly high school sporting events and Glendale Community College athletic events, but also attended Dodgers, Raiders, and Rams games. I also write for Joel Huerto (former co-writer and editor at the GNP) at onemanfastbreak.net. I watch a lot of sports on TV (basketball, football, usually just postseason MLB) and UFC.

5 Comments

  1. As someone who is forced to watch Knicks games, I disagree with you on the fact that the Knicks could tread water in Carmelo’s absense. He’s their best player by far. JR and Bargnani have been far too streaky this season, to replicate the consistent production that Carmelo has given them. Carmelo is by far and away their best player, and if he’s out for significant time then the Knicks season is over. It’s that simple.

    With all of that said, Carmelo is going to play tomorrow. He wants to, Woodson needs him to, and Dolan will make sure that he will.

  2. Melo, Woodson and Dolan are all idiots…. Melo for taking a chance of playing on a sprained ankle. He could do further damage to that ankle and that could jeopardize his career… and Woodson and Dolan for letting their franchise player get all macho and maybe the team winding up without his services for longer than just a week or two.

  3. Luckily Carmelo didn’t play yesterday, but that also led to another ass kicking at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks have lost so many one sided games at home this season that you have to believe that Woodson is going to get fired sooner rather than later.

    Yes, the Knicks have had a ton of injuries, but they also have no heart. Jeff Van Gundy said something I agree with at the end of the Heat-Lakers game (I am paraphrasing): The difference between the Lakers, and the 2 New York teams are that the Lakers have heart. They may not have the talent those 2 teams have, but they have the heart. They weren’t going to allow themselves to be embarassed at home on Christmas Day and he’s right. The Knicks and Nets looked horrible while the Lakers hung in with the Heat for the entire game.

  4. Nets need to de-grinch themselves and get some heart, STAT!

    Hate to repeat it, but, JKidd needs to be replaced… and soon… because in that division it is still not too late to make a run and get first place for a playoff spot.

    I don’t know if anything can turn the Knicks around.

  5. I blogged something about a month ago where I believed the Knicks could turn it around quicker than the Nets but I am not so sure now. Both teams need heart, and both teams need tweaking but with the Knicks I don’t see any desire to try. Too many players on the Knicks look like they don’t care.

    As for the Nets? Letting Kidd go would be smart since he really is in over his head, but so many things with them are not working. I’ll forever hate the acquisition of Joe Johnson but with his deal he isn’t going anywhere. Lopez being injured is just unfortunate but if I have to look at one player on the Nets and say that he looks like he doesn’t want to be there: its Deron Williams. I was excited when the Nets dealt for Deron, and maybe I’m reading more into him then I should, but he just doesn’t look happy here. He looks uncomfortable in the bright lights of the big City. I know they won’t deal him, but he’s not the star that this franchise needs. If Dwight Howard didn’t mess it all up with how he left the Magic, he would have been perfect as the face of the franchise with Deron being his willing wingman.

    I know it’s all moot now and the Nets won’t deal him, and the Atlantic Division is so horrible that the Nets can still win it, but they do have to do something to the roster. Letting Kidd go and hiring an experienced head coach will help but they need to overhaul this thing too.

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