It isnt a long-term injury on the level of the Bulls Derrick Rose or even Knicks teammates Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert, a Chicago-area native, but New Yorks 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 Saturdays contest, Anthony determined hed 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 its 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, youre not really thinking about your hand. I went out there and tried it, and knowing I still would force myself to go through it, youve got to be smart. Weve played 20 games at this point in the season and I didnt want to have another setback.
I think it was just me being able to catch passes, especially from Raymond. He fires them, so Ive got to get myself mentally prepared for that. But thats the only thing, being able to control the ball, catch the ball. Today, I worked out. It felt pretty good. Im pretty sure a couple more hours wont 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 hes never seen me on the first bus. I was bored. But for me, to say to myself that Im going to sit out that Miami game and then tonights game, I really trust my teammates and feel as though they can take care of business.
Even with Anthony missing Thursdays prime-time showdown against the Heat and last seasons 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 replacementsthe Knicks are currently atop the Eastern Conference, propelled by a combination of potent three-point shooting and a much-improved defense.