Originally posted on Knicks Journal  |  Last updated 1/31/12
Nuggets_anthony_sits_799e

In addition to the news that Baron Davis' Knicks debut will be delayed at least another week, Mike D'Antoni asserted Carmelo Anthony would be a game-time decision for tonight's matchup between the Pistons and Knicks at MSG.
Having lost nine out of their last ten games, the Knicks are reeling right now and there appears to be no concrete end in site. Whether it be due to the lack of a floor general or not, the group being put on the court for the Knicks simply is not meshing. Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire have been constantly criticized for their lack of chemistry, but it is not quite their fault they stand as two completely different talents.
One would think, however, that with Anthony potentially sitting out again tonight, Stoudemire would capitalize as the dominant option on offense. Instead, the Knicks' captain has continued to be flat during Anthony's absence, leaving his team to be in desperate need of some scoring.
Aside from 'Melo, no other Knick has been able to step up offensively on a consistent basis. Because of this, he attempted to play through the pain against weaker opponents, instead leaving the Knicks vulnerable during matchups with the likes of the Heat and Rockets, both of which they lost.
With Stoudemire unable to get into a groove without an efficient pick and roll partner, and the momentum clearly not in their favor, the Knicks appear to have little chance at winning any games at all (seeing as how they have barely done so in the last ten games). With that said, even with Anthony in the lineup, when and will things eventually turn around for the team?
Though Tyson Chandler has assumed the role of quarterback of the defense, quite effectively in fact, the Knicks' inability to score has made it nearly impossible for them to win.
While the Pistons do not have a star on offense to lead them to victory on a normal basis, their depth may be enough to overwhelm the Knicks tonight. Rodney Stuckey, Greg Monroe, and Tayshaun Prince all can prove to be high scoring threats. Stuckey can beat opponents inside and out if they choose to sleep on him, and Prince can stretch the floor with his long range jump shooting ability. Monroe can certainly hurt teams from inside, but perhaps Chandler can prevent that from happening tonight for the Knicks. While none of these players score twenty points on a nightly basis, each one is capable. The trick for the Knicks tonight will be choosing their defensive targets wisely.
New York can't forget Brooklyn native and Pistons guard Ben Gordon, either. Sure to have some family, friends, and fans in the stands tonight, Gordon can fill it up in a hurry if he gets hot. He could pour in thirty points if he gets going, so it is important the Knicks throw him off his game early on. No allowing Gordon to get into a rhythm.
If the Knicks can prevent any one Piston player from getting on fire, they have a chance to win. The key to this game will be which team builds momentum in a quicker fashion.
With the Knicks' spirits so low right now, and the Garden crowd ready to let them hear the boos at any given moment, any small amount of steady momentum for Detroit will likely deflate the Knicks rather quickly.
However, if the Knicks can instead look as though they have something to prove tonight, hopefully they can rally the home crowd around them and find a winning recipe on offense.
Who will be the team's X-Factor though? Still adjusting to the NBA game with early fatigue, Iman Shumpert's offense will be the ultimate key. In addition to being able to shoot from deep and attack the basket at will, Shumpert has shown glimmers of potential when it comes to getting his teammates involved. With ball movement crucial to the Knicks' success, perhaps they will ride and die with the rookie tonight.

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