New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony suffered a right ankle injury late in Wednesday night's 107-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings, but it's not expected to cost him any time on the floor.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News spoke to Anthony about the injury after the game, but he indicated he expects to play Friday against the Phoenix Suns:
The All-Star forward twisted his ankle late in the contest on a shot attempt, grimacing shortly in obvious pain before tightly retying his shoe to make the injury more secure. Anthony would stay in the game and rarely showed any signs of ill effect, finishing with a game-high 36 points and five rebounds in a critical game for the team's psyche.
Coming off an embarrassing 127-96 loss to the lowly Lakers, the Knicks needed any positive sign they could get. New York (30-42) sits two games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, though it's three games back in the loss column.
In what can only be described as a nightmare season from a team perspective, Anthony is again putting up stellar individual numbers. He's averaging 28.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game while shooting a career-best 41.4 percent from beyond the arc. Though he's taken the brunt of the criticism as the team's best player, Anthony has rarely been at fault for the Knicks' struggles, playing his game as the dilapidated structure around him crumbles.
Amid turmoil and the hiring of Phil Jackson as president of basketball operations, the Knicks had been playing inspired basketball prior to Tuesday's loss at Staples Center. Nine wins in their last 11 games have brought the team to the fringes of respectability, enough that they're the far less desirable No. 8 seed than Atlanta.
"I've been to (the playoffs) the last four or five years now, and to be home watching it on TV is not going to be any fun," coach Mike Woodson told reporters after the game. "So I'm desperately pushing these guys to try and get `em in there, because then a new season starts and anything is possible."
Getting them there obviously means keeping Anthony on the court. The Knicks have been outscored by 12 points per 100 possessions in the 810 minutes Anthony has been on the bench this season, per NBA.com. To contrast, they've outscored opponents with Anthony in the game.
For now, it looks like the Knicks avoided a major injury. But ankles are notoriously fickle, so this is something to monitor heading toward game time on Friday.
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