Carmelo expects to play vs. Orlando
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is back.
Almost a week after having his right knee drained of fluid and then missing the Knicks’ next three games, Anthony is probable for Wednesday’s home game against the Orlando Magic.
The 39-26 Knicks are in third place in the Eastern Conference, 1½ games behind the Indiana Pacers. The Knicks, who had been in either second or first place in the East for much of the season, are not only in danger of missing out on the second seed in the East but of losing the Atlantic Division to the Brooklyn Nets or even the Boston Celtics.
They need Anthony. Since Feb. 1, the Knicks are 11-11 and they have lost five of their past seven games. Five of New York’s next seven games are at home, but the Knicks also begin April three of four games on the road against playoff teams – at Miami, Atlanta and Oklahoma City. The home is against another playoff team, the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Knicks are beat up. Even though Anthony is returning, forward Amar’e Stoudemire likely is out of the remainder of the regular season, if not longer, and starting center Tyson Chandler will miss approximately one week with a bulging disc in his neck.
Veteran big man Kurt Thomas is out 2-4 weeks with an injured right foot.