OAKLAND — Maybe they’ll get the next one.
Derrick Rose (sore back) and Carmelo Anthony (sore right shoulder) were ruled out of Thursday night’s game against the Warriors, leaving the Knicks without two of their three top players to face off with the most talented roster in the NBA.
About an hour before the injury update announcement, Anthony said he’ll play in the nationally televised game and that Knicks need to be in “full force” to knock off the Western Conference champs.
So maybe Friday’s dive won’t be a such a great barometer, and focusing on Saturday’s showdown in Denver is the best idea. Kristaps Porzingis is going to have to carry a heavy load in Golden State and it could be a long night, especially since Draymond Green owned the Latvian in their previous two head-to-heads.
“I think (Green’s) motivated every game, no matter who he’s playing against. He finds something,” Warriors forward Kevin Durant said. “But the hype for Porzingis? I don’t think (Green) even reads into that. I don’t think anybody reads into it, to be honest. We know how good these players are. Porzingis is a damn good player. So he has to be ready. And he knows that. I don’t think the hype is the reason he’s going to come in and play well. It’s that he can go and score 40 if we don’t respect him.”
Rose’s absence was expected, but Anthony’s injury was a surprise since he was adamant about playing the last two days. On Wednesday, Anthony acknowledged he’s feeling some “bumps and bruises” but said he never thought about sitting out.
Carmelo Anthony will join Derrick Rose on the sidelines with an injury of his own Thursday night.
(Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports)
It could be an explanation for Anthony’s shooting slump, which consists of a combined 7-for-31 shooting over his last two games. He hit just 35 percent of his attempts in the last 10 games.
A defeat in Golden State would mean the Knicks failed to achieve Jeff Hornacek’s goal of going 5-2 in a stretch that started last week in Miami. They are currently 3-2 with the games against the Warriors and Nuggets before the schedule eases with a week back home.
The Knicks had asked Anthony if he wanted to sit out last Wednesday’s game against the Cavaliers, which was the second of a back-to-back. He declined and the Knicks were blown out anyway. So maybe Anthony learned his lesson that it’s better to rest against the best.
“If he comes up and says, ‘I want to take a couple days off,’ then we’ll do that,” Hornacek said.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News