Carmelo Anthony to play, start vs. Celtics Friday night

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There may be longer-term issues with his right knee, but for now Carmelo Anthony is only going to miss one game.

Anthony will be in the starting lineup Friday night when New York takes on the Celtics in Boston, coach Derek Fisher announced.

Anthony is averaging 22.9 points and 6.6 rebounds a game, and the Knicks offense is 15 points per 100 possessions better when he plays. Which is to say, they need him.

Anthony missed one game, a Knicks loss to San Antonio despite the fact the Knicks rested Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard. The Knicks have now lost 10 in a row and are just 4-20 on the season. With ‘Melo, Boston is about as winnable a game as there is for these Knicks.

Anthony’s played through a sore knee all season, which is part of the reason for the slow start. With the Knicks play has come infighting, reports of players not liking the triangle system, Derek Fisher looking like a first year coach and just an impressively high level of dysfunction. Friday word leaked that Anthony would be open to a trade — something both he and his agent quickly denied. Which is good, because with that contract good luck moving to a team any better than the Knicks. At least in the short term.