Monday 23rd April 2018,
The Hoop Doctors

Are Carmelo Anthony and NY Knicks Taking Unnecessary Risk?

Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks need to be careful, not reckless. But it seems the latter is prevailing.

We’ve been led to believe that Melo’s knee is a perplexing mystery, but real “mystery” is why he hasn’t got it drained. We know there’s fluid in there, he needs to just get it out the quickest way possible. And he shouldn’t play until he does. Even if he’s averse to needles.

Well, as Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports, Anthony is open to having his knee drained, which could keep him sidelined for awhile.

Here’s the problem: If Anthony needs to have his knee drained (my guess is he does), why not do it now? Why wait? Why play against the Denver Nuggets, far from full strength?

And there we have it, the “Nuggets.” Melo isn’t about to watch from the sidelines as he makes his first trip back to Denver. You know he’s been waiting for this opportunity since he was traded to New York more than two years ago. He’s not going to let it pass by.

Which is stupid; it’s inane.

Melo shouldn’t be playing if he’s going to sit out the very next game, and as Isola points out, he probably will have to sit out. Though I’d usually commend his resilience, this might be more stubborn than anything.

I get that Anthony wants to play against the Nuggets and I respect that. By playing, though, he is jeopardizing the immediate future of his team. What if he makes his knee worse and has to miss even more time? What if he somehow does permanent damage? Is it really worth the risk?

Some would say yes to the latter. Having Melo on the court beats not having Melo on the court every time, even though that’s not entirely true. If you’re the Knicks, you want your lone superstar to play; you want him on the floor. But only if he’s healthy, which as we saw against the Golden State Warriors, he’s not.

Against Golden State, Anthony shot 4-of-15 from the floor for 14 points and the Knicks got hammered. His re-integration threw the Knicks—who had played three games without him—off and they subsequently got pummeled. While we can chalk that up to necessary collateral damage if Melo was to remain in the lineup beyond this game in Denver, we don’t know if that’s that plan. At this point, I’d venture it isn’t. We’re more likely to see Anthony attempt to power through the pain now and magically concede to it after.

Perhaps Isola is wrong; perhaps I’m wrong. I hope we are. Should we be right, however, and Anthony be playing in this game to satiate his ego when he’s physically not ready, nothing good can come from it. A physically impeded Melo isn’t going to help the Knicks win.

And ignoring an injury to play sub par basketball now isn’t going to help him or his team later.

Dan Favale is an avid basketball analyst and firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His work can be found at in addition to Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.

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