Mike Woodson to rest Carmelo Anthony -- and listen to him

Carmelo Anthony looks on after a loss against Carmelo Anthony looks on after a loss against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden. (March 3, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Mike Woodson said the MRI on Carmelo Anthony's injured right knee showed "some fluid buildup" in there.

"That's what's causing the stiffness," Woodson said. "Rest will probably be the best thing for him."

Anthony rested Wednesday night, sitting out against the Pistons. Woodson said Anthony would be evaluated again Thursday night and if he feels better, he could play against the Thunder at the Garden. Woodson said it will be Anthony's decision.

"I'll do whatever he wants to do," Woodson said. "Trust me. Players know their own body. If he tells me he wants to play I'm going to play him. I'm not going to fight him on that . . . If he says, 'Coach, I need to sit down and rest a game or two,' I'm going to grant that, absolutely."

The irony is Woodson said Anthony asked out of Monday's game in Cleveland before he aggravated his knee and the coach didn't listen to him.

"He just kind of nodded that his knee wasn't right," Woodson said. "I kind of ignored it somewhat. Maybe I shouldn't have."

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After tripping over his own feet, Anthony fell in the second quarter in Cleveland. When he got up, he walked right to the locker room and never returned. The Knicks were down 22 at the time and rallied to win behind a strong game from Amar'e Stoudemire. This was the seventh game Anthony has missed all or part of this season.

"Obviously he was hurting," Woodson said. "He asked me to bring him out. I kind of ignored it because we were down. I probably should have taken him out and then he took the spill and he left the game because he was hurting. I didn't heed to it because I've seen him banged up and hit and things of that nature."

Woodson said he hasn't been told Anthony's knee worsened from that particular play. Anthony said it's been bothering him for a couple of weeks.

Woodson also said he has to scale back Anthony's minutes from the 37.8 per game to about 35. The Knicks need him as fresh as possible for the last two months of the season and playoffs.

Woodson brought Stoudemire and J.R. Smith off the bench again last night as Kurt Thomas and James White started. When Smith was asked if he understood not starting, he said, "Honestly, I don't know. I just do what I'm told. I really try not to worry about it. If I did I'd drive myself crazy."

Notes & quotes: Lawrence Frank didn't coach Detroit because of personal reasons. Assistant Brian Hill replaced him . . . Detroit was without big man Greg Monroe (ankle).

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