Knicks vs. Trailblazers: Carmelo Anthony out as Knicks try to avoid road skid

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

'Melo's out, but Tyson Chandler is expected to start, as the Knicks look to pick up their first victory of their current west coast road trip.

The New York Knicks will be down their best player when they take on the Portland Trailblazers in the Rose Garden. Carmelo Anthony left Wednesday night's game against the Denver Nuggets after again experiencing soreness in his knee. Following the game, it was reported Anthony would fly back to New York to get fluid drained from that knee. It hasn't been announced if he will rejoin the team before its road trip ends.

The good news for the Knicks is that Tyson Chandler is expected to play after he banged knees with Corey Brewer. Chandler left the game with assistance from his teammates, but he is listed as probable for tonight's game. The Knicks, currently in a battle for playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference, have lost two straight to open up their current Western Conference road trip. The Knicks also play the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz on a back-to-back Sunday and Monday swing.

Currently, New York is 38-24 and leads the Atlantic Division by 1½ games over the Brooklyn Nets. If the team doesn't pick up a couple of wins on the current road trip, the Knicks could find themselves out of home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, as they are just four games ahead of the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks.

Felton returns to the scene of the crime

Point guard Raymond Felton is expected to be in uniform against the Blazers, but the Rose Garden may be the last place he wants to be. A chorus of boos is expected every time Felton touches the ball after his disastrous one year stint with the Trailblazers. Felton showed up to Portland out of shape and averaged career lows in points and rebounds as well as near career lows in assists and three point shooting.

Matchup to watch

Rookie of the year front runner has been on a tear as of late. His March numbers show no signs of hitting a rookie wall. For the month, Lillard is averaging 24.8 points and 6.5 assists, including a 35 point outburst against the San Antonio Spurs last week. It will be interesting to see how Lillard, the present and future of the team, goes at the team's past in Felton.

Time: 10:30 p.m. ET

TV: TNT

Odds: Portland has opened as a six-point favorite.

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