The New York Knicks became the first team to reach 30 losses last night, suffering an absolutely brutal 97-81 home loss at the hands of the Detroit Pistons. It's worth noting New York was without Amar'e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert, Samuel Dalembert, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Carmelo Anthony, who has been plagued with a sore knee throughout their abysmal season.
At 5-30, Derek Fisher and the Knicks haven't thrown around the 'tanking' word, but they should consider taking a page out the Sixers' book and doing everything in their power to secure a top lottery pick in next year's draft- including benching their $124-million dollar man.
The medical staff has told Melo that his knee won't get any worse if he continues to play, but he also won't be able to fully heal if he stays on the floor. With the slightest thought of the playoffs quickly slipping into an abyss of impossibility, Fisher, Phil Jackson, LaLa, hell anyone anyone close to Carmelo should be advising him to take the rest of the year off.
"From the conversations I've been a part of, I think everybody is smart enough to realize, calendar wise, timing wise, that there may come a point that that's the decision that needs to be made," Fisher said Friday. "But [we realize] that we can't force Carmelo to that point just yet."
"We can't unilaterally just say, 'Hey, you know, you can't play for the rest of the season because of A, B and C,'" Fisher said. "I think our medical saff, our training staff, continue to have conversations with him about where he is. He's conversing with us about how he's feeling, what the symptoms are. And so as each day kind of unfolds, decisions are being made. It's not something that we're just kind of stepping back and saying, 'Carmelo, you kind of tell us when you don't feel like playing anymore.'"
If Melo really wants to be a part of a team that can win in the future, playing out the remainder of the season isn't going to help that cause- sitting the next 47 games, getting healthy and possibly landing the top spot in the draft will. At this point it seems like the only logical move, but then again, we're talking about your New York Knicks.