Wednesday Practice Report: Melo's Status & Knicks' Playoff Hopes

Jonah Ballow


Melo’s Status For Toronto
Carmelo Anthony has enjoyed an extremely productive season despite the turbulent year for the Knicks.  As New York seeks the final spot in the postseason, Anthony is ailing with a shoulder injury that clearly hindered his overall performance in games against the Wizards and Heat. 

At MSG Training Center on Wednesday afternoon, head coach Mike Woodson said Anthony did not receive further tests and the Knicks leading scorer participated in conditioning and shooting drills. 

Woodson remains concerned about Anthony’s ability to play at full tilt even though he’s expected to start on Friday against Toronto.

“If you’ve ever been a shooter, if it’s tough to raise your shooting arm, it’s tough.  Only Melo knows the severity of his pain.  All I can do is try to put him in the best position possible and if he tells me he’s hurt and he can’t play then it’s my job to sit him.  I don’t know if he will ever tell me that,” Woodson stated.

Amar’e Stoudemire is optimistic the four days off from game action will provide ample time for Anthony to heal.

“A few days will help with recovery and hopefully that helps with his shoulder but we’ll see,” Stoudemire added.

The Chase For 8
The door is slightly ajar for the Knicks to sneak into the postseason, trailing the Hawks by two games.  Stoudemire admitted to watching the Pacers-Hawks contest that unveiled a surprising result.  Atlanta clobbered Indiana, which placed New York in a tough spot with only four games remaining on the docket.

“We really can’t put too much pressure on Atlanta.  We have to make sure we win, make sure we take care of our business and that’s the mindset going into Toronto,” Stoudemire said.

New York faces the Raptors on Friday followed by a Sunday game against the Bulls, at Brooklyn on Tuesday, and the regular season finale hosting Toronto on Wednesday night.

“Make no mistake about it, we are in the playoff race trying to get this eighth spot and that’s where everybody’s focus should be,” Woodson reiterated.

The Hawks have four games left on their schedule against: Brooklyn, Miami, Charlotte, and Milwaukee.  Atlanta currently holds the tiebreaker over the Knicks.

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