Head coach Mike Woodson said he hopes Carmelo Anthony will return from an ankle sprain during the New York Knicks' three-game road trip through Texas that begins on Thursday, but there is still no timetable on the star player's return, reports Al Iannazzone of Newsday. Anthony has missed three games since injuring his ankle against the Orlando Magic.
New York visits the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks to open its 2014 schedule. The Knicks do not play in Madison Square Garden until Jan. 7, but are off until Jan. 2 before the Texas three-step trip. The team has struggled without Anthony, its leading scorer and rebounder, and a large stretch without games could buy the Knicks time for him to recover from the ankle sprain.
The Knicks have been outscored 20.6 points per 100 possessions over the past three games without Anthony, according to NBA.com. J.R. Smith has become the focus of New York's offense in the meantime. He is attempting 17.7 field goals per game but shooting only 37 percent from the field.
The season has not been gentle to New York, which has dealt with injuries throughout the year and has a 9-21 record through the 2013 portion of its schedule. It has the fourth-worst winning percentage in the NBA and third-worst in the Eastern Conference.