Just when it seemed like the health of the New York Knicks was getting better with the return of Jose Calderon, the team now lost it’s $124 million dollar superstar for what maybe an extended period of time.
New York Knickerbockers forward Carmelo Anthony has been ruled doubtful for Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks due to severe back spasms. Anthony did not practice with the team on Tuesday as he laid in his hotel room resting his back. He visited a doctor in Houston to obtain pain medication that was not available in the arena before flying with the team to Dallas. Fisher did say today that Anthony had made some progress, but not enough to play in the game.
“Carmelo’s back getting some rest and trying to do what he can to get better. We don’t know enough to really diagnosis where he is and where he’s headed before another day or so,” Fisher said. “I wasn’t at the hospital. But I would assume he felt better with some medication, different things. But I don’t want to speak for him. I’m sure it was uncomfortable the entire time.”
Anthony left Monday night’s game against the Houston Rockets in the first half with back spasms and did not come back into the game. Most of his teammates said that their star player was in a lot of pain following Monday’s loss to the Rockets.
“To be able to fight through something like that is extremely hard to do,’’ said JR Smith, who battled back spasms for two weeks in the preseason. “When your back is messed up, it controls everything. You can’t run, can barely walk. In his case , he could barely talk. So we got to figure out a way to do it without him. He said very few words. You could tell the pain he was in.’’
The Knickerbockers have played the entire season without Andrea Bargnani, and all but two games without Calderon. Anthony is another wounded body to add to the list as things are getting worse before they are getting better for the 4-11 Knicks.
“It’s not as much being frustrated with the injuries — moreso feeling the sense of disappointment for our players that they haven’t gotten a chance to be whole and really find out what they’re capable of doing together,’’ Fisher said. “They’re frustrated and disappointed where we are right now. But it’s not an excuse for where we are.”
The loss of Anthony means that Amar’e Stoudemire, Smith, and Tim Hardaway Jr. need to pick up the scoring slack. Stoudemire has played better than any of the other guys so far this season. He is second on the team in scoring with 11.7 points per game, and has been relatively healthy missing only one game . Fisher may have no choice but let Stoudemire run loose and become the focal point of the offense for the time being.
“We have to figure out a way to make up that 27, 28 points a game and his presence, not just his scoring,’’ Smith said of Anthony. “His presence in the locker room and presence on the court and have other guys step up. This is when you can really make a name. “I think we all have to do more collectively, if anything,” Smith continued. “Right now I think our mule will be STAT, his efficiency around the basket, and we’ve got to get more penetration; if anything I think we should put that on Stat.