Anthony, the team’s star forward, is not expected to play in the season finale on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden against the Philadelphia 76ers. Instead, Coach Jeff Hornacek said, Anthony will most likely sit out with a left knee injury that has forced him to miss six of the Knicks’ last 10 games, including their last two.
The boss is Carmelo Anthony, whose role as owner of Puerto Rico F.C., a second-year club in the North American Soccer League, serves multiple purposes. It is a form of community outreach, a pull he felt as a result of his Puerto Rican heritage. It is an investment opportunity. And it is a welcome diversion from his day job as a starting forward for the Knicks.
No, the Knicks who took the court at Madison Square Garden against the Detroit Pistons on Monday were as transparent as can be: their playoff fantasies are gone; Carmelo Anthony has been sitting out; and the triangle offense is now the law of the land, with Coach Jeff Hornacek stating it would be fully implemented next season.
But with Anthony still bound to the Knicks for two more years and with the club just about eliminated from the playoffs for a fourth straight season, it was perhaps inevitable that he would re-emerge as the team’s main topic of discussion.
Little has gone right for the Knicks of late, but the last few weeks had at least brought a resurgence by Porzingis, a 21-year-old forward. For a moment, that flittered away as his teammates helped him off the court and he went into the locker room. Fortunately for the Knicks, it was just a fleeting panic.
Willy Hernangomez had 14 points and 8 rebounds, while Kristaps Porzingis scored 14 points for the Knicks, who had lost two straight. Kyle O’Quinn sparked the comeback with 11 points and 8 rebounds, all in the fourth quarter.
When the Knicks continued to stumble, Levane was fired. The Knicks appointed the aging guard Carl Braun as the player-coach. This proved an organizational disaster, considering that era’s skeleton staff of assistants. The Knicks finished 27-48, the start of seven straight last-place finishes.
On Saturday, Knicks Coach Jeff Hornacek acknowledged that the team was going back to the basics on offense. And under the team’s president, Phil Jackson, that means the irresistible pull of the triangle.
But whether either player is still with the Knicks next season remains uncertain.
Rose left the workout without speaking to reporters, but a Knicks spokesman said Rose had practiced for all but the final minutes. His absence at the end of the session, the team representative said, was purely circumstantial.