If the injury to Carmelo Anthony’s knee last night is anything serious, any designs the Knicks have on a significant postseason run are likely over. Amar’e Stoudemire is a 30-minute player for a reason, and that reason is preservation.
Yes, I know Anthony played down his knee injury. So did Jeremy Lin last year. He was day-to-day-to-surgery-and-gone-for-the-year. I’ll believe Anthony is better when I see him back out on the court, playing as he had been.
The Knicks, in the meantime, should exercise caution with Anthony, as they have all season, injury-wise. (The 41 minutes per game he played in January are another story.)
But I think this is an awfully good time to get more Chris Copeland in the lineup, primarily because I don’t know what other choice they have.
If Stoudemire’s minutes are used exclusively at power forward, that still leaves around 20 minutes per game, if not more, to fill at the position. Marcus Camby and Kenyon Martin can provide Tyson Chandler cover at center that Stoudemire has, in theory, though we have yet to see either one perform for the Knicks, due to reasons of injury and rust, respectively.
Even so, who else will gobble up those remaining minutes? Kurt Thomas?
Copeland is both a high-volume scorer and the only real choice they have. He’s played all of one game and 10 minutes since February 4.
But I can’t imagine, if Carmelo Anthony misses time, that we’ll see such a usage pattern continue.