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Injured Melo doesn't plan to sit out games

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- After the Knicks' double-overtime loss to the Nuggets on Saturday, their sixth in a row, Carmelo Anthony, was somewhat at a loss for words. He spent about 15 minutes, in full uniform, at his locker thinking about the team's struggles, and what to do about his lingering injuries.

When he finally addressed the media that night, he didn't have an answer. In fact, he said he'd even consider shutting it down for a couple of days to further heal his sprained right ankle and left wrist, which he's been wearing a brace over. But he wasn't sure.

After Monday's practice, during which he received treatment, Melo was more definitive about things. He said he doesn't plan to sit out any games.

"As a leader of this team, I don't think I can do it right now," he said. "With us just losing games like that, I don't want to just sit out in the midst of everything that's going on with the losing of games. So I feel like I gotta be there for my guys. Right now we're in a battle, and I want to be there for them."

Fortunately, the Knicks should have the upper hand on their next two opponents. They are facing two of the bottom-feeder teams in the league, the Bobcats (3-14) on Tuesday and the Cavaliers (6-9) the following night. Then, it's their highly-anticipated showdown against the Heat on Friday in Miami.

Baron Davis making his practice debut on Monday is a positive sign for Melo and the Knicks, who are averaging 94.3 points per game (17th in the NBA) and 18.1 assists per game (tied for fifth-worst in the league). Once Davis returns, he will alleviate pressure off Melo to not always have to dribble the ball (a bit of a wrist cure) and initiate the offense, which has not been able to generate enough flow, especially down the stretch.

So far this season, it's been all Melo in the fourth quarter, as he's averaging a league-high 9.5 points in the period. Amare Stoudemire is only at 3.3 points, and last season he led the league at 7.1 points. That's where Davis come in -- as a hopeful savior for Stoudemire, who's shooting 41.3 percent from the field and not getting enough open looks, and the rest of the players, who are averaging the fewest points for a Mike D'Antoni-coached team.

D'Antoni hinted that Davis, his eventual starting point guard, could play limited minutes later this week if progress is going well.

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