PONTIAC, Mich. -- Carmelo Anthony could miss Wednesday night's game against the Pistons with a stiff and sore right knee that has been bothering him for a couple of weeks.
The Knicks are listing Anthony as questionable with the ongoing knee issue that came to light after he left Monday's victory over the Cavaliers in the middle of the second quarter.
Mike Woodson said Tuesday that Anthony asked to come out of the game before he tripped over his own feet and fell as he made an awkward attempt to catch a Jason Kidd outlet pass. But Woodson said he was too "stubborn" to listen to his star player.
"I should have," Woodson said on ESPN Radio Tuesday afternoon. "But stubborn coach, I just didn't. We're down 22, I'm going to leave one of my best players in the game. Maybe I should have taken him out before he actually stumbled and took the fall.
"I'm thinking the game. I'm thinking he'll play through it, he'll figure it out. But, hey, he was hurting. He walked out after he took the spill and he didn't come back. That's not Melo-like."
There is concern about Anthony, who had an MRI recently on the knee that he said showed up clean. He said he doesn't have tendinitis. But Anthony said he has felt stiffness in the back of the knee and that "it didn't feel right" in the Cleveland game. He will be re-evaluated today.
Since Wednesday's game is the first of a back-to-back that concludes Thursday against Kevin Durant and the Thunder it might be prudent for Anthony to sit and see if he can play against the defending Western Conference champions. But Anthony could miss both games for precautionary reasons.
The Knicks can't afford to lose Anthony for an extended period or not have him healthy for the stretch run and playoffs. He's logged heavy minutes (37.8 per game) and his body has taken a pounding.
If Anthony can't play, Amar'e Stoudemire could start tonight for the first time this season. Stoudemire starred in the Knicks' 102-97 comeback victory in Cleveland, scoring 22 points.
He has come off the bench in all 27 games he's played since returning from surgery on his left knee. But Stoudemire and J.R. Smith started the second half Monday with the Knicks needing scoring.
The Knicks didn't practice Tuesday, but Woodson said on the radio he likes Smith in his sixth-man role. Woodson wouldn't commit to anything regarding Stoudemire, but admitted he made a mistake by leaving him on the bench late in Sunday's loss to Miami.
Stoudemire's minutes may increase
Stoudemire sat the last 7:56 in the Knicks’ 99-93 loss to the Heat when they could have used another scorer or at least someone to take pressure off of Anthony. Woodson’s defense was the Heat went small so he did too, and that it was the wrong move.
“Bad coaching,” Woodson said. “You can blame that on coach. The thing with Amar’e, I’m on a minutes restriction with him and I’m trying to gauge minutes as I go along. That’s no excuse. He should have been in at the end of that game.”
The minutes limit was 30, but Stoudemire played 32 against Cleveland. Woodson might have to watch his minutes with this being a back-to-back but said the cap could change.
“Eventually,” Woodson said, “maybe his minutes might grow from 30 to 35.”
As expected, the Knicks signed Kenyon Martin to a second 10-day contract. The veteran power forward has appeared in one game and played just five minutes.