Melo Says He’ll be Gametime Decision vs. Nets (UPDATED)
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Carmelo Anthony says he’ll “probably be [a] gametime [decision]” for Wednesday’s intra-city showdown with the Nets at Madison Square Garden.
“I’m moving better than I felt a couple days ago, yesterday,” Anthony said Tuesday. “I did a lot more than I was able to do the last couple of days, so we’ll see what happens. I still got today to get some rest and treatment and I might come back tonight to get a little light workout and then tomorrow morning. So I’ll probably be gametime at this point.”
Anthony sprained his left ankle when he was fouled by Dwight Howard in last Thursday’s win over the Lakers, and has sat out two games since. The Knicks (18-6) are 1-1 during that stretch, including losing Monday to Jeremy Lin and the Rockets, 109-96.
“Of course, I want to play,” Anthony said. “But if I’m not able to go out there and be the player that I can be and help my team, then I’m not going to step foot out there on the court.”
Said Knicks coach Mike Woodson: “We’ll know more [Wednesday], see where he is….I’m not going to sit here and rush him. This is a long season and one or two games is not going to make our season right now, so when he’s ready to come back he’ll let me know and we’ll welcome him back.”
The second-leading scorer in the NBA, Anthony has also been bothered by a knee problem and took six stitches to his left hand that caused him to miss two games.
Asked what was bothering him the most, Anthony said, “My knee is fine, hip is fine, all that stuff healed pretty good. As of right now, it’s just my ankle. It’s not sprained or anything, right now it’s just really badly bruised. So it’s about getting the inflammation out, there’s still some inflammation in there. So we’ll see what happens.”
Anthony said he wants to get healthy, and that because it’s still early in the season there’s no need to rush back.
“I think the best thing for me, the best thing for the team, the best thing for this organization is to have me healthy at this point,” he said. “I done played through pain, I played through injuries, I played with injuries. But right now it’s about being smart. If it was later in the season, I’d probably be singing a different tune, but right now it’s still early in the season.”
Anthony spoke on the same day that the Knicks activated Amar’e Stoudemire and assigned him to their NBA D-League franchise, the Erie BayHawks. The Knicks also assigned Chris Copeland, who scored a career-high 29 points against Houston, and James White in order to give the team more bodies to practice with.
After missing more than a quarter of the season after having a knee procedure, Stoudemire says he has no target date in mind for a return.
“It makes me happy to see Amar’e out there running down the court and scrimmaging with the guys today,” Anthony said.
“He seems like he’s in a good place right now, he seems happier than I’ve seen him in a long time. It’s just a matter of getting him back out there on the basketball court. I saw him this morning, I know he was scrimmaging with the guys and I told him, ‘Don’t try to get it all back in one day. It’s gonna take some time. Just go out there and see what you can do.”
Anthony also said he expects his other injured teammates, including shooting guard Iman Shumpert (ACL) to return soon.
“I worked out with Shump this morning,” Anthony said. “He’s on his way back. I talked to Sheed [Rasheed Wallace], talked to [Marcus] Camby. Everybody is getting healthy, is getting to where they need to be so I’m excited about that. There’s a lot of light at the end of the tunnel.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.