'Melo Out But Smith and Davis Could Make Knicks Debut Sunday

Carmelo Anthony is unlikely to play Sunday against Dallas, but J.R. Smith and Baron Davis could be in uniform

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012  |  Updated 6:12 PM EDT
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AP

Expect to see Carmelo Anthony in a suit on the bench once more this Sunday. Jeremy Lin, however, is expected to start against the Dallas Mavericks.

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Carmelo Anthony is unlikely to play Sunday against Dallas, but J.R. Smith and Baron Davis could be in uniform as the Knicks move closer to getting to full strength.

Anthony has missed six straight games with a strained right groin and coach Mike D'Antoni says it is more likely the All-Star forward returns Monday night against New Jersey.

But Smith and Davis have outside chances to make their Knicks debuts. The Knicks signed Smith on Friday and D'Antoni says his preference is not to play him before he's had a chance to practice, but the shooting guard is in shape after playing in China, so D'Antoni says the team "will see what happens."

Davis has been recovering from a herniated disk in his back. D'Antoni says the point guard "could play tomorrow," though adds his preference is to "work him a little bit gradually."

But it seems likely Davis will play sometime before next week's All-Star break.

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