'Melo Ready to Play 48 Minutes in 'Must-Win' Game 3

GREENBURGH, N.Y.Carmelo Anthony hopes his injured teammates can play in Game 3 against the Boston Celtics Friday night.

But if Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups can’t go, he’s ready to play the entire night in what he’s calling a “must-win.”

“I’ll play 48 [minutes] if I have to,” he said Thursday after practice. “It’s playoffs now. You know, you gotta leave it all out there on the court. If they can’t go, then maybe I’ll go to sleep a little bit earlier tonight, get some rest.”

Without Billups and Stoudemire in the second half of Game 2’s 96-93 loss, Anthony played all 24 minutes Tuesday night. He tied his playoff career-high with 42 points, adding 17 rebounds and six assists.

He wrapped both knees in ice packs after the game, but said the mental toll was greater than the physical one.

“I think it was just more of a mental exhaustion, just knowing how hard we played and how close we were in both of those games,” Anthony said. “For us to not win any of those games, I think mentally it just took a lot out of me.”

Still, in the immediate aftermath of Game 2’s loss, Anthony described it as “fun,” which drew the ire of critics who said Kobe Bryant never would utter such words.

“I’m not Kobe,” he said. “I ain’t Kobe, man. I still had fun in those games. We’re on the road. Nobody would ever say the Knicks would have a chance to win both games in Boston, so I’ll take that. We could’ve won both of those games. We’d could’ve been up 2-0 right now and you probably wouldn’t be asking me that question.”

Anthony defended his decision to pass to Jared Jeffries out of the double-team in the waning seconds of Game 2, just as he defended his choice of shooting the 3-pointer at the end of Game 1. Neither play worked out for the Knicks.

“[Jeffries] had to make that decision,” Anthony said of Jeffries’ decision to try to pass to Bill Walker instead of shooting. “I can’t make that decision for him. Once I gave him the ball, it was up to him. He could take the shot or pass it. He chose to pass it.

“If I’m in that same situation, I would definitely pass it to Jared again. Today I told him, ‘Get a couple layups under the basket.’ I kept throwing it to him, throwing it to him, saying ‘Dunk the ball next time.’ It was all laughter, it was all fun and games. He understands what’s going on.”

Billups played plenty of playoff games with Anthony in Denver, but said Game 2’s performance might have been his best postseason effort ever.

“That would probably be the best with it being playoffs and on the road and against a really good defensive team, man, that was impressive,” Billups said. “That was impressive. I mean, he made every play to try to win the game. Even the play he made at the end, pass the ball to Jared, was the right play to make.

“That was impressive.

After playing two games in Beantown, Anthony is excited about the Knicks’ first home playoff game since 2004 and said he expects a “crazy” atmosphere.

Despite being down 2-0 to the defending Eastern Conference champs, Anthony is not worried about a sweep.

“We’re definitely not thinking about that,” he said. “It’s one game at a time, and Game 3 [Friday] here on our court, it’s a must-win. Must-win for us.

“This is the hardest game, by far, that we’ve played this season.”

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29 comments
John Melkun
John Melkun

Ovenchicken is gonna run all over u guys.

tpjm
tpjm

See how BROOKLYN money got NYI in playoffs instead of being out of it by thanksgiving as usual in nassore. (except for a shortened season) Thank God for NYI in BROOKLYN and more money to spend.


Was at a concert in westbury last night. A guy in a Flyers hat and Flyers shirt won a raffled off guitar. The crowd yelled "let's go rangers" at him. There were 20 people there wearing NYR shirts. Not 1 NYI shirt or hat...except for yours truly. Thought I was on LI the home of NYI. Evidently there are much more NYR fans on LI than NYI fans. 


THIS is why NYI is leaving as nobody on LI cares. 


As pro NYI in BROOKLYN as I am Uncle T will be there tomorrow for the dumpiseum's finale. Wouldn't miss it. This is what REAL fans do, not the fakes, phonies, whiners and fraud LIers who kicked their team out and won't go to games in BROOKLYN and want NYI to fail in BROOKLYN so they leave NY for Quebec as they're NEVER coming back to nassore or suffolk. Bring on the playoffs. The REAL fans like me deserve it. The fake fans and apathetic whiners don't.


Thank You Charles B Wang for NYI in playoffs.

John Niemczyk
John Niemczyk

@tpjm  Crooklyn is going to be a disaster that arena SUCKS for hockey

Michael Frias
Michael Frias

You're way too positive to be an SNY blogger.

mrislander
mrislander

Home ice at the Coliseum would still be a huge boost.  Let's go into Pittsburgh tonight and wreck their chances at making the playoffs and get home ice over the Caps.  LGI

millhouse
millhouse

well written, it's time to give shitsburgh some of their owm medicine.

cournoyer
cournoyer

I'd start Neuvirth. Fleury sucks

Scott Weinstein
Scott Weinstein

Call up Poulin for Saturday's game and don't even dress Halak. The playoffs are all about goaltending and we need Jaro healthy and rested and on top of his game.

Michael Frias
Michael Frias

@Scott Weinstein  There's 3 days between the end of the season and the 1st game of the playoffs.  1 game won't make that huge of a difference.

donjohnson
donjohnson

Im an Isles fan through and through but im nauseous at the way we lucked out and backed into the playoffs.  We are only here because we used to play like a dominant team, speed, neutral zone tenacity, and shots...and now seem confused and disorganized.  We look completely clueless on the powerplay, and its almost painful to watch.  I really hope we throttle the pens and bjs(lol) to at least have something positive to cue in on come the 1st game of the playoffs.

Don22
Don22

@donjohnson Backing in is BS.  They got themselves in position to make the playoffs and the teams BEHIND them couldn't.  They would have clinched the other night with an awesome, furious comeback but were thwarted by a fluke goal.  A FLUKE goal.  


Tonight is a huge game for the Pens.  If the Isles win tonight, then do you still consider it backing in?


I agree we can be concerned about how they have played the last month or so, but enough of the backing in.  It's a fan term.  Nobody in the NHL cares how they got into the playoffs, as long as they got in.  

tag1
tag1

@donjohnson Enough with this backing in nonsense, the Wings have played just as bad as we have the past month or so they lost last night and clinched a playoff spot (24 yrs in a row) you think they care how they got in? How many years have the Isles dropped out of the playoff race in NOVEMBER because of a long losing streak then went on to have a MEANINGLESS winning streak at the end of the year? The Isles are being rewarded for their great first half, take it and hope they can start playing better when the real season starts next week.

ghostfritz
ghostfritz

@tag1 @donjohnson 

right on tag.....the backing in stuff is complete garbage.....some people need to brush up on their sports knowledge....

backing in ..is going to the final game of season and needing help....

winning enough games to clinch before the season ends is not backing in...on top of that at no point was the isles destiny out of their own hands....

in the last few weeks some here have exposed themselves as complete morons not worthy of a response..

Don22
Don22

@tag1 @donjohnson Well said Tag.  Backing In is a fan term.  NHL teams and players couldn't care less how they get into the playoffs.

isles23
isles23

Bottom line, the teams play over 80 games earned them a playoff spot.

isles23
isles23

Frias, guess I should have scrolled down further, my thoughts exactly

topshelf
topshelf

If cappy knew anything (like AV) he would not have rested anyone until there was an X by the islanders. I know people disagree with me but if we lose we will be out coached (or halak chokes). I can see a long playoff run if they emulate the team that played in oct,nov,dec...

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

one flukey goal and now everyone expects halak to choke in the playoffs.  love it 

Logan Monstuart
Logan Monstuart

@slapshot18_rs

Wrong, wrong, wrong. There was noting flukey about it. Halak wasn't set. For months now he has been letting in soft goals, at least one a game. He's awful at clearing the puck, gives up too many rebounds, too often allows pucks to sit around crease.

Goaltending is our biggest concern, then our D. Have no shutdown defenseman. Kills you in the playoffs.

topshelf
topshelf

I wasn't saying he is going to choke, I said if....big difference. And I don't think he will!

rmbbanned2
rmbbanned2

@topshelf Well now that there is an "x" by the Isles name- i guess resting those players the last few weeks looks like a pretty good idea- eh? 

Good to see with 2 games left in the season, your catching up to stuff the head coach knew weeks ago..

jt91
jt91

Now close the season out on a high note and eliminate the Pens!

Sean Ahearn
Sean Ahearn

Now they need to learn to up their game.