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Anthony Ready to be Knicks’ Team Leader?
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On March 29, 2012 @ 6:50 am In All,Headlines,NBA Headlines | No Comments
They’ll need (Carmelo) Anthony being Anthony, embracing the challenge of carrying the offensive load on the court and setting the example in the trainer’s room, with which he’s become quite familiar. His teammates have noticed him there at all hours, trying to keep another groin injury from sending him to the bench, where he could only watch most of that (Jeremy) Lin-inspired, seven-game winning streak from Feb. 4-15.
“I’m just playing my part, trying to be one of the leaders of this team,” Anthony said.
Had Anthony’s services been required in the fourth quarter — the Magic, who at one point trailed by 39, were “awful,” as coach Stan Van Gundy said, so that wasn’t the case — he would’ve enjoyed his first 30-point game since Jan. 20, a drought of 26 games. But more than the points, as important as they are without (Amar’e) Stoudemire for the next 2-4 weeks, Anthony’s challenge is to be the leader he’s never really been forced to be. To the extent that the Knicks couldn’t continue with Mike D’Antoni because D’Antoni couldn’t continue with Melo, the responsibility rests with Anthony to make it right.
To his credit, he hasn’t run from it. He’s recognized it, and embraced it.
This is Anthony’s time now, a time when he has to push through an injury and the weirdness of this Knicks season to catch Philadelphia and Boston for the Atlantic Division title and a top-four playoff seed. Anything less and they’d probably wind up playing with fire against the Bulls or Heat in the first round.
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