GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Carmelo Anthony should be nearing a triple-double every single night.
Coach Mike D'Antoni, that's who.
D'Antoni raised the expectations bar for Anthony today at the Knicks' morning shootaround while also giving an injury update for tonight's game against the New Jersey Nets: Shelden Williams is slated to start at center, Shawne Williams (back spasms) is doubtful, and Ronny Turiaf (sore ankle) is out.
But back to Anthony, who had his best game as a member of the Knicks as they snapped their six-game losing streak Monday night by defeating the Orlando Magic behind Anthony's 39 points and a team-wide defensive intensity that had been lacking for the better part of the previous three weeks.
"I thought he got after it, he rebounded it well. He should be nightly getting close to a triple-double. The ball should go through him a lot, and he should be knocking at that door a lot," D'Antoni said.
Anthony said he drew no extra mental motivation from playing against the Nets, the other metropolitan area team that tried to acquire him from the Denver Nuggets. New Jersey instead sent its package of assets (Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and two No. 1 draft picks) to the Utah Jazz for Deron Williams, who is a game-time decision tonight after missing six games to rest a sore right wrist.
With the game being televised by ESPN, this will be the Nets' first appearance on national TV (excepting NBA-TV) in more than two years.
"I expect the game to be intense. I heard (Sasha) Vujacic said this is the most important game of their season so far, so it's the biggest game of our season, too. I'm looking forward to it," Anthony said.
Williams and Anthony were teammates on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team that won gold medals in Beijing.
"I haven't sat down and really chomped it up with him and asked him what really happened, and how does he feel after all of it is done. But that's something I'll talk to him in the offseason just to pick his brain and talk about this whole season as a whole," said Anthony, who again said the Knicks need to bring a "must-win" mentality to tonight's game as they play the last of their 18 games in the month of March, then have three days off before their next game Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who stunned the Miami Heat last night. "Cleveland came out there, they wanted to prove something, and they showed it last night," Anthony said.