Today: Jun 18, 2024

Sports Commentary: It’s ‘Melo’ time

PAT LONGOBARDI Sports Writer

Every team deals with injuries during a season.

For the New York Knicks, after this shortened, roller-coaster season, this cannot happen. Just not now and not for a second straight season.

Last season, the team was still adjusting to the newly-acquired Carmelo Anthony. Injuries to Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups proved to be too much as the Knicks barely limped into the playoffs before being swept by the Boston Celtics.

This season, Stoudemire (back) is hurt again toward the end of the season and the international sensation of Jeremy “Linsanity” Lin (knee) is out for the rest of the year.

It is now time for Anthony to pull rank and take over as the leader like he is supposed to. This is made even more necessary with two starters on the bench.

Stoudemire is expected to be held out for two to four weeks. Things have not been easy for Stoudemire the past two seasons with back problems after getting off to the start that everybody expected from the All-Star out of free agency.

Stoudemire has been trying to get back to his winning and dominating ways. Despite trying to share the floor with Anthony and then these injuries, he has never had a chance to get ahead of the game.

Lin has been a huge part to this season because apparently without Anthony, we might not have heard of Lin when the injuries were piling on early in the season.

After Mike D’Antoni resigned, the chemistry was coming together as it looked like D’Antoni’s system was somewhat of a problem.

The Knicks are in a spot where a new head coach in Mike Woodson is lighting the fuse from his end to dominate the floor with smart basketball, which is leading to their winning ways.

Time is of the essence for the Knicks.

Injuries can not hurt them now for an opportunity at a championship.

This time around, there are more pieces for the team to rely on. It is too early to see who they might play in the playoffs but just getting in cannot be the goal this season.

A coach already left because of this “team chemistry” business.

Now it is time for Anthony to show that a new coach and these injuries are just a minor setback to overcome for a championship. Anthony does not need to score 30 points a game to earn the team’s respect. All he needs to do is show up, run the play that is called and make most of the shots when called upon. These injuries symbolize the point where the Knicks find out if Anthony is an answer to the franchise.

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