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Opening Tip: Limit Melo's minutes?

12/23/2013

In mid November, someone asked Carmelo Anthony about all of the minutes he'd played to that point. At the time, he said he'd prefer not to play 40 minutes a night but added that he'd do anything to help the team.

Perhaps jokingly, he drew a line in the sand on his minutes earlier this week.

Anthony was reminded that he said he'd play any amount of time to help the team win on Friday and he interrupted, with a smile, saying, "not 55 I won't."

Fifty-five was a reference to the amount of minutes Anthony played on Wednesday against Milwaukee in the Knicks' double-overtime win.

It was yet another night that Anthony was asked to log heavy minutes.

Anthony's averaging an NBA-high 39.9 minutes per game. He'd be leading the NBA in overall minutes, too but the three guys ahead of him have all played more games.

Some (this writer included) have wondered if Woodson's use of Anthony is related to the coach's need to win games -- and win games now -- to improve his job security.

Anthony's extended time on the floor may be impacting his late-game performance.

Last season, he shot 44 percent in the fourth quarter. This year, he's shooting 38 percent.

In clutch situations (team ahead or behind by five points with five minutes or less to play), Anthony is shooting just 24.3 percent from the field this season. Last year, he shot 31.7 percent from the floor while playing nearly two minutes less per game.

For what it's worth, Anthony says the minutes haven't affected him on the court.

"I really don't feel it when I'm out there. Sometimes you feel it, you feel a little fatigue. The next day you might feel a little fatigue but for the most part you’re not really thinking about that when you're in the midst of the battle," he said.

That brings us to our question on Monday: Do you think Mike Woodson should limit Carmelo's minutes?

Up Now: Once again, Mike Woodson takes the Knicks to task for their lack of effort. He also says it's time to stop making excuses.

New York may get Raymond Felton back from a hamstring injury on Monday against Orlando.

The Knicks will be on the road on Monday, which may be a good thing given their 4-10 record at home. Anthony thinks they have a mental block of sorts at MSG..

Speaking of Carmelo, the Knicks star took some time away from the court to give back to some of the youth of New York City on Friday.

Earlier in the day, he spent time with 14-year-old Adama from the Bronx from the Make-A-Wish Metro New York. Adama met Carmelo at the MSG Training Center and took a tour of the place. Later, Anthony met 250 middle school students at a movie theater in Times Square and treated them to a screening of Big, courtesy of his foundation.

"A lot of times people assume that you do one thing in life that's what you're supposed to be doing 24/7," Anthony said. "This is stuff that, when I'm off the court, I enjoy doing. Being in the community, giving back to the kids, and just being a normal person every once in a while."

What's next: The Knicks will play the Magic in Orlando on Monday night.

Question: Do you think Woodson should limit Carmelo's minutes?

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