Carmelo Anthony has played a vital role in keeping the New York Knicks’ offense alive all season. The New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony was called upon again on Monday night due to piling injuries. Although the 28-year-old logged 50 minutes against the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Knicks coach Mike Anthony hinted henceforth Carmelo Anthony’s playtime will be strictly limited his former 38 minutes per game average.
"He played 50 minutes last night based on the circumstances of last night's game,” said Mike Woodson about Carmelo Anthony’s last night minutes on Tuesday. “He's been averaging around 34, 35 minutes a game going into that, and that's where he needs to play.”
The New York Knicks understandably don’t want to wear-out their five-time All-Star ahead of the postseason. Additionally, Carmelo Anthony is playing an even more important center stage role as key New York Knicks starters return from injuries.
“All the high-profile players, like LeBron and Wade and Kobe, and those guys, they're averaging right at that number,” added Mike Woodson. “And that's where he needs to be. “
However, Monday game against the Brooklyn Nets raised some special circumstances where Mike Woodson forced to stretch Carmelo Anthony’s minutes for the night.
"Last night was just different because of the overtime and the fact that we were a little short-handed, based on how they were playing their personnel,” said Mike Woodson. “They played their starting unit a lot of minutes as well, so I can't sit Melo down in that situation based on the magnitude of the game and where we were during the course of that ballgame."
Guard Jason Kidd’s absence put a strain on New York Knicks’ ball movement and further raised their expectation with Carmelo Anthony, who was required to get more open shots and make a bigger scoring contribution. Jason Kidd’s backup, Raymond Felton had a 3-for-19 shooting from the field, and just five assists in the game. Raymond Felton also couldn’t revive the New York Knicks’ pick-and-roll game, which put additional pressure on Carmelo Anthony.
Another two key points out of Mike Woodson’s notebook:
1. Raymond Felton was a fail
"Just a bad night… you have nights like that as a player…(But) If he was on his game, maybe we win the game,” said Mike Woodson, before adding that Jason Kidd’s absence also weighed-down on Raymond Felton. “We can slide him (Jason Kidd) to the point guard as well, but we didn't have him last night and Raymond had to load a lot of minutes last night.”
2. Predicting any differences in their recent 1-3 road stretch
"Not really because it's not easy winning out on the road. The Dallas and last night's game were winnable games,” said Mike Woodson, will stressing on moving forward from the losses maximizing the opportunities in their winnable games down the stretch. “The bottom line is: At the end of the day, we're still sitting at the top of our division, and that's where we want to stay."