INDIANAPOLIS — Carmelo Anthony’s right shoulder is hampering him, but he said he will continue to try to play through it.
Anthony started feeling soreness in the shoulder during last month’s West Coast trip, and he missed the Dec. 13 game against the Warriors. He hasn’t sat out since then and said he doesn’t plan to shut it down for a stretch to rest it.
“I don’t think it will get to that point,” Anthony said. “I think now it’s just a tolerance level, seeing what I can do and what I can’t do. I don’t think it’s a situation where I’ll shut it down. Maybe a game here, a game here. Just play it by ear.”
Anthony said if he were to miss a game, it would be more for “overall rest and recovery” and not necessarily because of the shoulder. He said he hasn’t missed any practices because of it.
Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said there has been no talk of Anthony taking any time off.
“The guy scores 30, 28, making big shots for us,” Hornacek said. “If he comes to me and says I just can’t do it, we’ll take a look at it. He’s a veteran guy who knows how to play with bumps and bruises and stuff like that. As you see, his shoulder’s been sore, but he’s almost the last two games getting triple-doubles.”
Baker seems secure
Undrafted rookie guard Ron Baker’s contract becomes fully guaranteed for the season on Tuesday, and his coach said he has nothing to worry about.
“As a coaching staff, we’d love to have him,” Hornacek said. “Everyone around the organization knows what Ron can provide for us and loves what he does, when we make that decision. If I was Ron, I’d feel pretty good.”
Baker met with Hornacek when he made the team out of camp, and he said his coach told him that if he “stayed on the right path as I did in the preseason, I’d be fine.” So Baker wasn’t concerned.
He provided a huge lift for the Knicks in their 116-111 comeback victory over the Bucks on Friday night. Hornacek turned to Baker over starter Derrick Rose and backup Brandon Jennings and played the former Wichita State guard for the entire fourth quarter. Baker finished with six points and two assists and sank two free throws to ice the game.
“They’re a very long team, and so for Brandon, it was probably pretty tough to deal with all those long guys,” Hornacek said. “Since we were down, we needed the defense to do some different things. Ron allowed us to switch a little bit more with the size.
“We talk about Ron all the time and what he does and how solid he is. We didn’t say, ‘Oh, man, this is a last-ditch effort, let’s throw Ron in there.’ We knew he could do some good stuff for us.”