Anthony had been listed as questionable because of a sore knee that he aggravated in the first half of the Knicks' win against Cleveland on Monday. His status for Thursday's game against Oklahoma City is unknown.
Despite missing Anthony, the Knicks defeated the Pistons, 87-77.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson elected to start Kurt Thomas at power forward in place of Anthony.
Anthony said on Monday that his knee had been bothering him in recent days, and an MRI taken recently revealed no structural damage.
"Today I just woke up, and you know how some days you really don't feel right," he said after the Knicks' win over Cleveland. "I came out here and I tried to warm up and I thought it was going to loosen up before the game, but some of the things that I was doing, I felt like I was dragging it."
Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald said Tuesday in an interview with radio station WFAN that he did not believe the injury was "serious," even though Anthony has been bothered by the knee for two or three weeks.
At Wednesday morning's shootaround, Woodson told reporters that Anthony has a buildup of fluid in his knee.
"We're going to try to be smart about it and we're not going to rush him along if we don't think it's appropriate," Grunwald told WFAN.
In an interview Tuesday on "The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show" on ESPN 98.7 FM, Woodson called Anthony's injury "alarming" and admitted that he left the star forward in Monday's game after Anthony requested to come out because of knee soreness. Woodson called the decision "stubborn."
"Melo was hurt," Woodson said. "For him to ask me to come out of the game before he actually took that spill made me realize that something wasn't right. He's never ever, ever, even hinted about coming out of the game [before Monday]. I play him too much in that regard. Melo's a trooper -- he's a warrior, he's a tough kid."
Woodson was asked during the interview why he chose to leave Anthony in the game after he requested to come out.
"I should have [taken him out]," Woodson said. "Stubborn coach -- I just didn't."
Anthony is the NBA's second leading scorer, averaging 28.2 points per game.
Wednesday's game was Anthony's eighth missed game of the season. The Knicks are 4-4 without him in the lineup.