Knicks face Bulls without services of All-Star Anthony
December 8, 2012, 7:46 pm
It isn’t a long-term injury on the level of the Bulls’ Derrick Rose or even Knicks teammates Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert, a Chicago-area native, but New York’s Carmelo Anthony missed his second consecutive game Saturday night with a middle-finger injury.
The superstar scorer and early-season MVP candidate was also sidelined for the Knicks’ blowout road win over defending-champion Miami after suffering a cut to the finger while diving into the crowd for a loose ball and while he had a day off in Chicago before facing the Bulls, after warming up prior to Saturday’s contest, Anthony determined he’d sit out another game to get healthy, perhaps in time for his first matchup in Denver against the Nuggets, his former team, Sunday.
“Right now it’s just the comfort level of being able to just go out there and dribble, just getting through the first time you get hit, the first time I get a hard pass, just getting past that,” Anthony said before the game. “You just get caught up in the moment. When the momentum is going, you’re not really thinking about your hand. I went out there and tried it, and knowing I still would force myself to go through it, you’ve got to be smart. We’ve played 20 games at this point in the season and I didn’t want to have another setback.”
“I think it was just me being able to catch passes, especially from Raymond. He fires them, so I’ve got to get myself mentally prepared for that. But that’s the only thing, being able to control the ball, catch the ball. Today, I worked out. It felt pretty good. I’m pretty sure a couple more hours won’t do anything but help it,” continued the All-Star, who noted the advice given to him by teammate Tyson Chandler, a former Bull. “[Chandler] told me not to, him and Jason Kidd. They pulled me up, told me that was the best thing for me to do. But they know how bad I want to play. I actually came early on the bus. Jason Kidd told me he’s never seen me on the first bus. I was bored. But for me, to say to myself that I’m going to sit out that Miami game and then tonight’s game, I really trust my teammates and feel as though they can take care of business.”
Even with Anthony missing Thursday’s prime-time showdown against the Heat and last season’s starters Stoudemire and Shumpert, an explosive second-year guard from suburban Oak Park, Ill.—ironically, former Bulls Ronnie Brewer and Kurt Thomas are their temporary replacements—the Knicks are currently atop the Eastern Conference, propelled by a combination of potent three-point shooting and a much-improved defense.
Tags: new york knicks
, Chicago Bulls
, Carmelo Anthony
, Kurt Thomas
, Ronnie Brewer