Mike Woodson didn't leave much room for interpretation when it came to whether or not Carmelo Anthony should be on the court for the Knicks in Detroit on Wednesday night.
"Rest will probably be the best thing for him. But he's got to make that commitment. If he wants to sit down and rest a game or two, we'll do that. It's still a long season," Woodson said after a shootaround that Anthony missed while getting treatment for what the team says is stiffness and soreness in the knee.
The specifics beyond that are hazy and Anthony is listed as questionable for Wednesday and Thursday night's date with the Thunder. Woodson said there's fluid buildup that was revealed by an MRI that the team said Anthony was not going to have after he tripped and fell during Monday's win in Cleveland.
That fall led to the revelation that Anthony's knee has been bothering him for a while and before Woodson admitted that Anthony asked out of the game shortly before he went down on Monday. That leads to the question of why it would now be up to Anthony whether or not he plays if the coach thinks rest is the best thing for him.
And all of that leads to the lingering murkiness of a Knicks organization that alternately keeps a tight lid and overly optimistic spotlight on injury information. Rasheed Wallace was always a heartbeat away from playing until he needed surgery that will shelve him for the rest of the season, a possibility the Knicks never entertained publicly.
Basically, you'll know nothing about Anthony's status until you know something but it seems highly unlikely that he'll play in either of the next two games. Given what little we do know, the thought of playing him against a bad Pistons team with two home games in the next three days seems almost laughable.
His replacement in the starting lineup would be a former Knicks starter at power forward who will be filling in on a unit that's suddenly short on scoring punch.
That's right, boys and girls, Kurt Thomas will start in Anthony's place. What, you were expecting Amar'e Stoudemire?
You'll see plenty of Stoudemire, as Woodson said that he'll be in after three or four minutes anyway. Woodson also said Stoudemire was still on a 30-minute-a-night limit, although he went over by necessity on Monday and it wouldn't be surprising to see him do so again as long as Anthony is out.
That will be a waiting game, as they always seem to be with injured Knicks.