Carmelo Anthony was lying on the trainer’s table in a sports jacket getting treatment on his right ankle. He didn’t try to run or do anything. The Knicks knew in the morning he wouldn’t be able to play Wednesday night in Brooklyn.
Anthony sprained his ankle when he stepped on a referee’s foot late in the first half of Tuesday’s win over Boston. The Knicks didn’t have a morning shootaround Wednesday because it was a back-to-back. But Derek Fisher said Anthony didn’t test the ankle at all and that he hopes he can return for the next game Saturday in Memphis. Lance Thomas started in his place against the Nets.
“It wouldn’t have mattered testing it out or trying it out,” Fisher said. “He wasn’t going to be a go pretty much from this morning.”
This is the second game Anthony has missed this season with a sprained right ankle. He also sat out the Dec. 23 game in Cleveland, but he tested it that day at shootaround and in the afternoon at the hotel.
After Tuesday’s game, Anthony said if he didn’t face the Nets there would be “plenty enough time to get treatment and rehab and get ready for Memphis.”
Anthony could have three full days off before Saturday’s game. He said his ankle felt different than last month’s injury.
“Last time it was more sore and tender,” Anthony said.
When Anthony left Tuesday’s game, Arron Afflalo became more vocal and carried the offense. He’s familiar with both roles from when he was the top option in Denver and Orlando.
“That’s just my natural leadership abilities that I have,” said Afflalo, who scored 20 of his 24 in the second half after Anthony exited. “When a guy like that goes out, sometimes the energy of the team is down a little bit. I Just wanted to take some initiative and make sure guys’ sprits were high, that they were motivated, that they were fighting to win the game.”
According to Yahoo! Sports, the players association filed a grievance on behalf of Memphis forward Matt Barnes to get his two-game suspension without pay rescinded. The NBA suspended Barnes “for engaging in a physical altercation and threatening” Fisher in October. Fisher didn’t receive any punishment. The Knicks are in Memphis Saturday.