Josh NewmanCarmelo Anthony looked out of sorts on Friday night, committing an uncharacteristic nine turnovers in a 90-89 loss to the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden.
The reason for him not looking right became clearer in the postgame locker room.
The Knicks announced Anthony has a strained right shoulder. X-rays taken after he scored just 10 points to go along with eight rebounds, five assists and four steals were negative. He is expected to play on Sunday when the Knicks travel to the Miami Heat.
Anthony revealed postgame that the injury first occurred on Wednesday during the Knicks’ 110-81 home win over the Nets. On Friday night, the problems lingered, but it did not stop him from playing 38 minutes.
“Throughout the game, there was no strength,” Anthony said. “Hopefully, I’ll be alright.”
“Well, I knew it was bothering him, but you know, we gotta have Melo on the floor,” Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said. “I tried to give him a break, but I played him through the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth quarter. I tried to give him a little breather.”
Anthony admitted that with 1:02 left in the first half, he called a timeout because the shoulder gave out on him momentarily.
There is little doubt that Anthony will do everything in his power to play in these final five games as the Knicks fight for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. They trail the Atlanta Hawks by a game for that eighth spot, but are two back in the loss column and are unlikely to possess the tiebreaker. After the Heat, the Knicks are off until Friday when they travel to the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors.
“There was no way I was coming out, not under these circumstances,” Anthony said. “Not in this dog fight we are in.”
Anthony injured his left shoulder late in the 2012-13 regular season. There were lingering effects, but he played in all 12 of the Knicks’ playoff games. It was later revealed he had a partially torn labrum, for which he opted for rehabilitation instead of surgery.