Quick preseason start encouraging sign for Carmelo, New York fans


VIDEO: Carmelo Anthony scores 21 points and the Knicks defeat the Wizards

Whether you’re a member of or a fan of the New York Knicks – with just one victory in a playoff series and only five postseason appearances, total, in the past 15 years – you’ll appreciate just about anything coming along sooner rather than later. That it happens to be Carmelo Anthony‘s recovery from knee surgery last winter makes it doubly welcome.

Anthony, 31, a 25.2 ppg career scorer, played in just 40 games last season and was done by February, with the Knicks headed toward the worst record in franchise history: 17-65. They didn’t reap the reward in draft position they might have had in mind for that lowly finish (though forward Kristaps Porzingis might, in time, make up for New York’s fall to No. 4). And they were low-impact players in free agency, despite having almost $30 million to spend.

So getting max-salary, max-years, max-ball dominator Anthony back with most of his skills intact, ahead of schedule, would boost some spirits around Madison Square Garden, as well as the Knicks’ prospects early in the 2015-16 season. That’s what Al Iannazzone wrote about for Newsday over the weekend:

Carmelo Anthony was itching to get back on the court, but for nearly five months after he had knee surgery, the Knicks and their doctors wouldn’t let him touch a basketball or set foot in a gym.

“I wasn’t even allowed to go near the court,” Anthony said. “They had a no-Melo-on-the-court sign on the door. They had a picture of me with an X on there. I didn’t pick up a basketball until the end of July.”

What followed were hours and hours of shooting from all over the court to get ready for this season. The Knicks’ lone All-Star worked on trying to regain his rhythm and timing, on getting comfortable in different spots on the floor and pushing off his surgically repaired left knee to see if he had his power back.

Anthony is not officially done with his rehab, but judging by the Knicks’ first two preseason games, all the work he did is paying off. Anthony has been extremely sharp. He’s shot 18-for-25 and scored 38 points in 45 minutes.

“The most important thing is being healthy,” he said. “When you’re healthy, everything kind of falls into place mentally. There’s a lot of clarity for me at this moment. I can kind of just play ball and not have to worry about ticky-tack injuries or having surgery. I can just focus on my team.”

“I think Carmelo’s excited about basketball again, which for veteran players is hard to do as you move through your career,” [Knicks coach Derek] Fisher said. “Being away from the game oftentimes reawakens that childlike joy that you have for playing the game. He has that right now.

“It’s more about the mindset that you see and his approach to the game. He’s being aggressive. He’s making passes when he should make passes. He’s putting in effort on the defensive end, and he’s really leading our guys.”

10 Comments

  1. Lostwill says:

    I think it’s wrong for us Knicks fans to have hope based on what hope’s done to us lately. That said I believe this year’s team will win more than 17 games which should be progress…now if only that’ll meet expectation remains to be seen. Go Knicks!

  2. Mark from Bayarea says:

    Regardless of Melo and Porzingis dude, Phil Jackson is the worst President of any franchise in history of NBA.
    He is just in New York for the money.
    He is not a Gen master or something.
    He was lucky in his entire coaching career because he had MJ.
    Later, he could get job at the Lakers because of his fame that he coached MJ.
    What a lucky bastard!!

    If Erik Spoelstra could maintain LBJ, he would have been revered as Phil Jackson.
    Their fames were just given by those superstars who really were genius of this sport!

  3. purpngold says:

    Porzingis is no doubt a great prospect for the Knicks, he looks hungry and poised to possible all star status. That’s the light at the end of the Knicks tunnel. Melo of course will put up his usual good numbers but will not take the Knicks far. Once Porzingis develops, the Knicks will be elevated to the next level.

  4. Theone says:

    Knicks, yawn.zzzzz.

  5. Snowball says:

    LOL @ fans who see hope for this organization

  6. harriethehawk says:

    I guess if I was a Knickerbonker, I would be very encouraged that my star player is back on the court. I also like how they got rid of all thiose big nasty contracts. A lot of garbage has been unloaded, but I cant help but be compelled to say that even still, the Lakers have a much bighter future, only because, their star, is not part of their future.
    I

  7. Kamil says:

    I hope Derrick Williams can find his footing with the Knicks. I think he has a very high potential, he just has to want to reach that level. In my opinion, he is the most explosive player we have on our roster. If Phil tailors him right, we can play him at the 3 or 4, and make him guard LeBron or the opposing best player so Melo can focus more energy on offense.

  8. eazee-b says:

    porzingis is talented, smart, mentally strong. real deal here, not like before. a good draft pick is always fresh and positive

    • patrickmarc says:

      Porzingis can really do a lot of things on court.
      I only hope Phil Jackson will let him play his own way,
      and not like he did with Tony Kukoc.