Knicks 'zzone

Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.

Carmelo Anthony misses practice but expected to play tomorrow

Carmelo Anthony was excused from Knicks’ practice today because of a family issue.

But coach Mike D’Antoni said he would play in tomorrow’s game against the Bucks when the Knicks start an important home back-to-back.

They have dropped four straight games – and were booed again at Madison Square Garden during their 91-88 loss to the Suns last night.

The Bucks, losers of eight of their last 10, visit MSG tomorrow and then the Knicks play the reunion game against Danilo Gallinari and the Nuggets.

Emotions will be high for that game for everyone. Anthony forced a trade out of Denver last season and Gallinari never wanted to leave the Knicks. Not to mention, the Nuggets have been much better than the Knicks since the trade.

The Knicks are 20-22 since the trade while the Nuggets are 28-12. The Knicks also are “in a little bit of a crisis,” according to D’Antoni. If this skid hits six. the Knicks and D’Antoni really will be in crisis.

Their offense has been surprisingly bad. They have been held under 94 points for the past six games and three of them they were in the 80s.

“It’s really perplexing,” D’Antoni said.

This practice was all about offense because it is driving D’Antoni crazy that the Knicks are not moving the ball and scoring the way he’s accustomed. Unsolicited, Amar’e Stoudemire came to D’Antoni’s defense today, calling him “an offensive genius.”

“He’s been very successful with this offense, and he knows what it takes to score and how to win,” Stoudemire said. “So we just got to make sure we believe in his strategy and follow through with it.”

The Knicks continue to talk about ball movement being the key, yet the ball continues to stick and the offense has no flow. The offense is screaming for a point guard and Baron Davis is on the mend.

In the meantime, Iman Shumpert and Anthony, who has the ball often, have to move it to make sure everyone is getting involved. Right now, it doesn’t look like Anthony and Stoudemire can play together.

The 20-22 record overall, and 6-8 this season, is all you need to know.

Tags: Knicks , Mike D'Antoni , Carmelo Anthony , Amar'e Stoudemire , Iman Shumpert , Baron Davis , Danilo Gallinari , Phoenix Suns , Denver Nuggets , Milwaukee Bucks

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