UPDATE 7:20 p.m. ET: Anthony told reporters before the game that he would be out for tonight’s contest.
Carmelo Anthony sustained a cut to a finger on his left hand in the Knicks’ win over the Bobcats on Wednesday. The wound required five stitches, and it was painful enough to keep Anthony out of New York’s lineup for Thursday’s big win over the Heat.
Anthony missed shootaround on Saturday, and is considered a game-time decision for the team’s next game against the Bulls in Chicago.
Obviously, with the team performing just fine without him in Miami, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson is in no rush to put Anthony back out there unless he’s certain to be 100 percent.
From Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com:
Woodson said the decision to play will be Anthony’s alone.
“I’ve got to trust his judgment,” Woodson said. “He’ll let us know when he’s ready.”
Woodson dismissed the notion that Anthony would sit out against Chicago in order to ensure his return against Denver.
“It’s not a thing of saving it. The guy, he’s got (five) stitches in his finger,” Woodson said. “Melo ain’t been one to sit down so if it’s bothering him, it’s bothering him. If he tells me he can go tonight, he’ll be back in the starting lineup ready to go.”
The Knicks, at 14-4, are sitting at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. While they don’t want to needlessly give away a game against a team they should beat even without Anthony, they’re not going to be short-sided in forcing him back.
There are bigger goals on the horizon for this team to be reached much later in the season.