Felton a game-time call; Metta likely out

December, 23, 2013
12/23/13
1:46
PM ET
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Adding to the ongoing uncertainty of the ever-shuffling New York Knicks lineup is the tenuous availability of Raymond Felton and Metta World Peace.

Felton, 29, suffered a left hamstring injury in preseason and has been hampered on and off all season. The point guard hasn’t played since Dec. 11. Felton participated in Monday morning’s shootaround with his teammates, but coach Mike Woodson said his availability for tonight’s game against the Orlando Magic won’t be determined until game time.

"We’ll see how he feels," Woodson said. "If he can play, I’m going to start him."

And if that happens, Woodson said Beno Udrih will back Felton up. Otherwise, Udrih will start and Toure Murry will back him up.

Once a player suffers a hamstring injury, it usually lingers all season.

"I don’t know if he’ll ever be 100 percent," Woodson admitted. "But if the doctor says he’s OK and he tells me he’s fine, that’s the only thing I have to go by. We’ll run him out here in shootaround and test him, and then he’ll make the decision on what he needs to do."

Metta might opt for surgery: Woodson indicated that Metta World Peace would likely not see any action tonight. Like Felton, the 34-year-old World Peace has been hampered by a nagging injury all season, only for him it’s been his sore left knee.

He’s had fluid drained from the knee twice this season, bringing him only temporary relief.

"He’s had his knee drained a couple of times, and then he rests a few days and he comes back and plays," Woodson said. "We just have to take it a day at a time and see how he’s feeling. If he tells us he’s ready to play, then we’ll play him."

There have also been discussions about having some type of procedure -- likely minor surgery -- on the knee. World Peace tore his meniscus last season when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers, had minor surgery, and returned to action 12 days later.

"Metta’s mentioned that, but I don’t know where he’s going in terms of that direction," Woodson said. "He’s in tune with our medical people, and I’m sure they’ll figure it out if he decides if he wants to do something. But as of right now, he’s still day-to-day. I don’t know if he’ll do anything today. I don’t think he’ll play."

In that case, Woodson said he’ll likely go with Amar’e Stoudemire in the lineup, bringing Tim Hardaway Jr. and J.R. Smith off the bench.

Melo on being less mellow: Once again, Carmelo Anthony talked about the possible need to take a more active leadership role with the Knicks. This, of course, comes on the heels of Woodson again calling out the squad for a lack of effort. This time, Woodson’s words came after Saturday night’s 95-87 loss to Memphis, dropping the Knicks’ record to 8-18.

Earlier this season, the Knicks held a players-only meeting, and there’s been discussion regarding Anthony and Chandler pushing their teammates more.

"If that’s the case, then maybe I should lead more on the basketball court, and maybe Tyson should lead more on the basketball court," Anthony said. "If that’s the case, and guys are not putting forth the effort, then maybe we should start doing that a little bit more and maybe they’ll follow our lead."

At any rate, Anthony insisted that team morale is fine, and that there’s no lingering hangover from the loss to the Grizzlies.

"It’s behind us," he said. "Our focus right now is Orlando. We shouldn’t be thinking about what happened in the Memphis game. We had yesterday to watch the film and get things back right. Today’s a new day."

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2