Opening Tip: Let's play the blame game

Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.

Today's Burning Question: Carmelo Anthony's knee injury could have a serious impact on the Knicks season. And it didn't have to be this way. Who do you think is to blame for the way the injury was handled?

So Carmelo Anthony is headed back to New York to have his knee drained on Thursday. My question is: What took so long?

Mike Woodson said that Anthony had a fluid buildup in the back of his right knee on March 6.

Why not have the fluid drained at that point?

Why let Melo continue to play on a knee that's affected by fluid?

Here's a look at the factors at play:

MEDICAL STAFF: The Knicks' medical staff hoped that Anthony's knee would be healed with rest. But that didn't happen. So why didn't the team's doctors make a stronger push to have Anthony drain his knee? This leads you to wonder if Anthony has the ultimate say over treatment for this injury. If so, that is an organizational mistake.

WOODSON: Before he took the floor on Wednesday in Denver, Anthony recognized that there was a chance that he may not able to play the next night against Portland. This makes no sense. If there was a chance that Anthony wouldn't be available for the Portland game, then he should not have been allowed to play against Denver. To me, Mike Woodson needs to make the call here. Anthony likely didn't want to miss the game because it was his first in Denver, which is understandable. But what's more important? Having Anthony on the floor in a mid-March game or having him healthy for the final weeks of the regular season?

MELO: Even Anthony admitted he was being naive in thinking that he could play through the tightness instead of having the knee drained. It's unclear how long Melo will be out following the draining, but it is clear that the procedure to drain fluid out of Anthony's knee could have taken place much sooner than Friday. I can't blame Anthony for having the bravado to believe he could play through the injury, but that bravado may cost the Knicks a few precious games in the conference standings.

Question: Who do you think is to blame for the way the injury was handled?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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