Carmelo taking next two games off to rest his injuries, D'Antoni says. Could return tues.
It's a wise move, I think. Melo, in my opinion, played more intelligently and chose his shots more wisely in the last two games than he did in the Nuggets game and prior. But with both hands all wrapped and riveted up, one ankle hurting, and that back/side still hampering him, he just couldn't convert good, open looks he's accustomed to making (something he just admitted was hurting the team). New York will be hard-pressed to compete with the Heat and Rockets no matter what, and Melo rimming out easy shots wouldn't help much anyway.
I'd expect Bill Walker to start in his place, as was the case when Melo missed that game in Oklahoma City. Walker has historically been pretty focused in match-ups with LeBron James, (or perhaps I completely invented that. Whatever.) so that'll be interesting to watch. I'd also expect Jared Jeffries to spin a bit as the small forward, and maybe-- MAYBE-- we might get some time with Renaldo Balkman and/or three-point prophet Steve Novak (HEY! STEVE!). Who knows? Maybe the short-handed Knicks will get hot from outside or something and take a game this weekend.
This all sets up next Tuesday's game at home against the Pistons-- a theoretically winnable game-- as a probable return date for Melo and possible debut for Baron Davis. Intriguing!