It’s no secret, Carmelo Anthony played with an injury and he was in constant pain. He finally conceded in the recent past, admitting that surgery is now inevitable. Anthony has undergone surgery on his left knee and he needs a substantial amount of time for full rehabilitation – four to six months according to Phil Jackson.
After suffering a fifth straight loss to the Orlando Magic two weeks ago the Knicks entered the All-Star break with a record of 10 wins and 43 losses. That includes a 10-game and a 16-game losing streak. The Knicks longest win streak so far this season is a woeful 3 games.
This current season, for New York, is down the drain. There is nothing to play for, except the highest draft pick possible. The old saying is that teams are ‘playing for pride’, but it a ultimately seems that the Knicks are playing for a top-five pick.
Carmelo Anthony has closed up shop for the remainder of the seals and he’s focusing on being fully healthy to begin the 2015-16 season.
One of the goals entering the season was to develop the youth on the roster. Phil Jackson and the coaching staff wanted to provide minutes in order to improve and gain experience before going all out to build a championship roster. It is now the best opportunity.
With the removal of Anthony, 36 minutes has been freed up in the rotation. Some, but not all, of the youth has seen consistent court time, and this could only benefit their improvement.
Shane Larkin, Quincy Acy and Travis Wear have all received substantial minutes. They have each improved from the beginning of the season and they are now able to hold their own out on the court during prime-time.
New York drafted Cleanthony Early with the 34th pick. He has thus far battled injurys and seen inconsistent time. Early is now fully healthy, he is raring and ready to go. 27 games of consistent minutes would allow Early to get a feel and a rhythm in the NBA.
People underestimate just how hard it is for a rookie to get comfortable. This past All-Star break lasted a week and a half, it allowed Early to hit the gym. Putting in a large amount of work means that he can return to the team and be able to step in and contribute. Early can now most definitely benefit from the leader of the team being out.
The Knicks called-up Langston Galloway and signed him to two consecutive 10-day contracts before inking him for the remainder of the season. After getting of to a stellar start in his young NBA career, Galloway is currently in a slump and struggling to contribute. The Knicks signed Galloway through to the end of the 15-16 season (non-guaranteed), he may be a long term solution for the Knicks.
For a player trying to find his niche in the NBA, consistent minutes can only mean good things going forward. We know Galloway can play, but can he perform consistently? With extra guaranteed minutes, Galloway can be a consistent threat for New York on both ends of the court.
Wear and Acy have both been in the spotlight. They have most certainly not been in that spotlight for the past few months. Acy and Wear have both proven that they are NBA caliber players, but now with these ‘spot minutes’ they are, like Early, struggling to find a rhythm.
Carmelo Anthony plays at the small forward position and at the power forward as a stretch four, Wear is a small forward and Acy is a power forward. If you do the math, you will see that if you take Anthony out of the equation you are left with 36 minutes and two players: Acy and Wear.
Derek Fisher has previously said that New York are not tanking, but struggling. With Carmelo Anthony shutting it down the Knicks will “struggle” even more. The Anthony-less Knicks will struggle to win games, and as of right now, without Anthony, the Knicks are 0-15.
New York is currently in a bad situation, without Anthony it makes a bad situation even worse. The Knicks are dead last in the rankings and without their leading scorer you’d doubt that it would change. Without their superstar it basically guarantees a top-five pick – brutal, I know, but it is the harsh truth.
The goal entering the season was not to win a championship, it was to gear up and become ready for what lies ahead. The Knicks have not had Carmelo Anthony fully healthy for three and a half seasons, just think about all he’s done in that time.
Just imagine what he’ll do when fully healthy. Shutting down now allows ample time for recovery and rehabilitation. Anthony will enter training camp and the season free of injury and at the peak of his powers.
With Anthony drawing the drapes on this season it allows for younger players who are yet to see consistent minutes the opportunity to do so. Anthony has been the Knicks only consistent threat and with him on the sidelines it will inevitably lead to a high lottery pick. The other positive is that the Brooklyn native can enter the 2015-16 season fully healthy.
Shut down for what?