The New York Knicks’ task to try and climb back to relevance was made a little harder about a week ago as their star forward, Carmelo Anthony, went down with an ankle injury. The Knicks have been pretty terrible when healthy during the 2013-14 NBA season, but taking away their best player makes them near-unwatchable.
Unsurprisingly, the Knicks lost the three games leading up to Thursday night’s matchup with the San Antonio Spurs, losing by double-figures in all three games. However, it was announced on Thursday afternoon that Anthony would be returning back to New York’s lineup to try and withstand the onslaught from San Antonio, one of the best teams in the league.
Though the Spurs having an off-night certainly aided the cause of the Knicks, it seemed that Melo’s return to action revitalized this New York team. Not taking things slow at all and playing a game-high 39 minutes, Anthony put up 27 points, 12 rebounds and four assists while shooting 10-20 from the floor, 2-4 from three, and hitting on all five of his free throw attempts.
Iman Shumpert added 27 points of his own on incredible 10-13 shooting from the floor against San Antonio, but it was clear that Thursday night belonged to Melo and possibly gave this Knicks team some hope.
Though they’ve struggled with Anthony healthy this season, the Knicks know that they aren’t going to turn it around without their star in uniform and performing for them. For him to come back and help lead New York to a win over one of the NBA’s best could be something to light a fire under this team and give them some momentum. There have been other moments like that for the Knicks this season that they haven’t capitalized on, but perhaps this is the time they take advantage of it.