A holographic vision appears and tells Carmelo Anthony he is the only hope. Hope for the season, for the playoffs, for staving off the calls for “Wait until next year.” The person speaking is Mike Woodson, interim head coach who has somehow lit a spark under these fledgling padawans that call themselves The New York Knicks. Yes, okay, enough of the Star Wars references, but you get the idea. The Knicks are in trouble, even if they have won seven of their last ten games.
One of the biggest problems is Amar’e Stoudemire, the 29-year-old forward who has looked ancient at times this year. The history of bad knees were always a problem, but now he has a definitely more serious issue with the bulging disc in his back. No one around the Knicks is saying it, but Amar’e is done for the season. He has to be or he may risk being out for the rest of his career.
Now you can talk about Linsanity all you want, but down the stretch toward the playoffs Jeremy Lin is not going to be the most important factor. Neither are Tyson Chandler, Baron Davis, Steve Novak or any other Knick. It all falls to ‘Melo, whether or not any of us like that or not. The equation is simple in the Mike Woodson era (its brevity not withstanding). Even before Amar’e’s injury, it was clear Woodson’s game plan was built around Anthony. Now there is no choice at all but to believe in this because nothing else will get the Knicks there.
The Knicks are 25-25 and the playoffs loom a month from now. Some people around New York are talking about overtaking the Celtics and Sixers and taking first place, but those guys are dreaming up the wrong tree. They are looking up when they should be looking down at Milwaukee. Right now they lead the Bucks by two games in the playoff race. That is the number they should be concerned about because, like Obi Wan Anthony, it’s their only hope.
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