W2W4: Knicks vs. Nuggets


The Knicks got a taste of how tough life can be without Carmelo Anthony on Saturday night.

They hope they don't have to deal with it again on Sunday.

New York (14-5) takes on Denver, Anthony's ex-team, on Sunday night at the Garden. It's their fourth game in five nights.

Here are a few things to keep an eye on:

MELO'S STATUS: Anthony has missed the last two games due to a laceration to the middle finger on his left hand.

He tested his finger injury prior to the Knicks' games against the Heat and Bulls, but decided to sit due to lingering discomfort in his finger.

He said one of the biggest hurdles is the pain associated with catching passes.

The Knicks handled things without Anthony well on Thursday, when they beat the defending champion Heat by 20 points. But it was another story on Saturday against Chicago, when New York was held to a season-low 32 percent from the floor.

Will the Knicks get Melo back on Sunday night? You can bet it's going to be tough for him to sit out against his ex-team.

CAN RAY BOUNCE BACK? With Anthony out, the Knicks relied heavily on Ray Felton to score in the past two games. He scored a team-high 27 points in both games, but the Knicks won the first one and loss the second due in part to the difference in Felton's efficiency.

The point guard hit six of 10 3s in the Knicks' blowout win over the Heat, but missed 21 of his 30 shots against the Bulls on Saturday.

Which Felton can the Knicks expect on Sunday? Who knows? But you can bet Felton will be motivated against his former team.

GALLO'S BACK: This will be Anthony's second game against his former team. In the first game, ex-Knick Danilo Gallinari stole the show, scoring 37 points and pulling down 11 rebounds in a double-overtime Denver win.'

Gallinari, who leads the Nuggets with 15.2 points per game, is coming back to the Garden on a cold streak. In his last two games, he has made just five of 20 shots -- 1-for-5 from behind the arc -- to total 25 points.