[Video] Carmelo Anthony’s Rolled Ankle Puts OKC Christmas Game In Doubt

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Carmelo Anthony is hopeful that he’ll be able to play in tomorrow’s big Christmas game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but cautioned that the ankle injury he suffered against the Orlando Magic Monday night makes it a game-time decision.

Anthony, who’s second behind Kevin Durant in league scoring this year, explained that the ankle roll was not as severe as it could have been.

“I’m walking. I caught it before I rolled it all the way but it rolled pretty bad,” Anthony told the New York Post.

Anthony went up for an offensive rebound in the third quarter and landed awkwardly on a Magic player Tobias Harris, resulting in the rolled ankle. He received treatment on the bench and did not return to the game despite going to the locker room under his own power.

The Knicks and Thunder last met in April in a wild shootout game that saw the Knicks win behind Anthony’s 36 points and 12 rebounds. Durant chipped in 27 points. The win allowed Anthony to take the #1 scoring spot and eventually win the league scoring title.

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Much as I’d love to see another Melo-Durant duel, I’d rather our best player sit this one out and get healthy. He’s been playing way too many minutes as it is and trying to guard Durant on a bum ankle will do his health no favors. As we saw in last night’s Magic game, this team is hopeless without him, so risking a situation where he has to miss further time is not smart.

With that said, Melo is a baller and since he’s been here, he’s always loved these Christmas games. I give it a 70% chance that he ends up trying to play.

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Carmelo Anthony Wins First NBA Scoring Title

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Carmelo Anthony has long been viewed as the “best scorer” in the league by many observers. Now that title now has more credence behind with the confirmation of Anthony winning his first NBA scoring title.

Although initially coming into this season claiming that his days over scoring 30-plus regularly were over due to the improved Knicks roster, constant injuries to the team forced Anthony to be a nightly prolific scorer.

The Thunder’s Kevin Durant was ahead in the scoring race for much of the season, but a strong Anthony surge in April saw him average 37 points over 8 games to average 28.7 for the year despite resting the last two games.  Durant finished with a season average of 28.1 points.

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Bravo, Melo! What he did this season was the epitome of carrying a team on your back.Without our second best scorer in Amar’e Stoudemire for most of the year, Melo took the challenge every night of playing power forward, taking a pounding, not getting calls, and still pulling out victories.

LeBron is still the best player in the league, but Melo should finish up a distant second in the MVP race. Let’s hope Melo has saved some of that hot scoring for the playoffs.

Carmelo Anthony Passes LeBron James as NBA’s Top Jersey Seller

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The media attention given to Carmelo Anthony’s recent scoring tear has translated into a bump in merchandise sales, as Anthony has now passed LeBron James for the top-selling jersey in the NBA.

Although the Knicks as a team have lead the league in merchandise sales since early in the season, there hasn’t been a Knicks player to lead the league in jersey sales since the 2001-2002 season. Last year, Anthony was ranked fourth in jersey sales.

Over the last week, Anthony has averaged 42 points and 13 rebounds, lifting him over Kevin Durant as the league’s top scorer with 28.4 points a game.

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While it’s nice to see Melo and the Knicks getting recognized for their excellent play, I hope they brush this and other sudden media accolades off. They need to remember how critics had dismissed their capabilities throughout the season. I want the hunger and poise they’ve had over the win streak to translate throughout their playoff run.

Knicks Take 12th Straight Win in Wild Shootout With the Thunder

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What a game! I was confident in the Knicks’ chances considering they battled the Thunder down to the final shot at Madison Square Garden last month without Melo. The big concern was how our slower and older guards would handle the merciless penetration of Russell Westbrook and OKC’s strong frontline with Kenyon Martin sitting out his second game. The response came from our bench, who fought tooth and nail to set the table for the Knicks to outgun the Thunder in the final minute to pick up arguably their best road win of the season.

OKC LIVES AT THE FREE THROW LINE, THE KNICKS BEHIND THE ARC: The first quarter was very annoying to watch as the refs called a bunch of ticky-tack fouls on what seemed like every Knicks player. Any contact on Durant, no matter how light, resulted in a  foul call. Just four minutes in, Iman Shumpert and Pablo Prigioni had two fouls apiece. Melo got his second a few minutes later, helping the Thunder get out to a 21-14 lead.

Like the first game, the Knicks were not intimidated and roared back behind two three-pointers from Jason Kidd. The Knicks would end up going 6/7 in the first quarter and were only down 31-30 despite the Thunder shooting over 60% from the field.

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COPES SHOWS AND PROVES: The knock on Chris Copeland is that while he can score, it’s offset by the fact he’s a huge defensive liability. That wasn’t the case today. Copeland’s first half offense was crucial in keeping the Knicks in it with Melo sitting. He had 13 points that came from behind the arc and also in the paint. On defense, he swatted away a Westbrook drive and had active hands in causing deflections. And with ball movement, he kept the forced shots to a minimum, giving a sweet assist to Steve Novak for an open trey (who was 2-4 from downtown in the first half).

The bench output was the main reason the Knicks were able to go up by as much as 12 in the first half before settling for a 65-56 halftime lead.

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SURVIVING THE RUNS: As expected, the Thunder made strong pushes in the third and fourth quarters. Each time, the Knicks had an answer. When the Thunder got to within a point (84-83) with 2:52 left in the third, Melo drained a three. When the Thunder took a brief fourth quarter lead, guys like Raymond Felton brought the momentum back.

Speaking of Ray, that man knows no fear in crunch time. Like he did in the fourth quarters against the Hawks and Bucks, he continued going right into the teeth of the defense. His aggressiveness resulted in 16 points and 8 assists.

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MELO WINS HIS DUEL: It’s been a minute since Durant and Melo went at each other and it didn’t disappoint. While Westbrook was the primary scorer this afternoon (37 points), Durant wasn’t too shabby either with his 27 points. However, Melo dropped 36 and was most impressive with his attack on the offensive glass, where he had a season-high in nine (12 rebounds total). It was a welcome sight to see Melo keep his cool and get the putbacks despite being fouled repeatedly. He had two key tip-ins (one off his own miss and another off a missed JR free throw) late that gave NY a little breathing room and set up the coup de grace…

JR CLOSES THE SHOW: JR Smith didn’t shoot well today. He missed a few open threes early in the fourth that could have ended some of the late drama. But like he’s done all throughout this winning streak, JR got it done when the game was on the line. With the Knicks clinging to a 115-113 lead, Smith hit a long jumper with the shot clock expiring to make it 117-113. And on the next possession, Smith bailed us out with a dagger three to ice it. Applaud this man.

THE BENCH: The Knicks bench outscored the Thunder’s 55-30. JR was JR with his 22 points, but Kidd’s 14 and Copeland’s 13 were huge contributions. A total team win.

THE CRITICS ARE QUIET: No one gave us any slack when we rolled out our banged up lineups, but we were quick to hear about how our recent Heat win didn’t mean anything with Wade and James sitting. Well, the Thunder were at full strength and out for blood. They were turned back on their home floor. Speaking of emphatic road wins, the Knicks have them in abundance this year against the Spurs, Heat (2X),Celtics and now Thunder.

The Knicks have their first 50 win season in 13 years and are just one win away from securing their first Atlantic division crown since 1994. Taking out the Thunder was their 12th straight win. And this is all without having a fully healthy roster the entire year.

You’re still not a believer? It doesn’t matter — the Knicks know they are for real.

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