Knicks Hoping Anthony Can Play Against Magic

Anthony sprained his right ankle and his left wrist Thursday in Memphis, then sat out Saturday’s game in Oklahoma City. The Knicks lost both games by double digits.

Anthony participated in a team walk-through Sunday and afterward told reporters that he would try to play on Monday, when the Knicks host the in a matinee. Officially, the Knicks are calling Anthony questionable.

Anthony ran on an underwater treadmill Sunday and planned to run on the court later in the day, according to a team spokesman. If he has no setbacks, he will test the ankle again Monday morning before seeking clearance to play.

The Knicks could also be welcoming Baron Davis to the lineup soon. Davis has increased his activity in recent days and may begin practicing as soon as next week, Coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters. Davis, who signed with the Knicks in December, has been rehabilitating a herniated disk for several months.

The Knicks (6-6) had won four straight games before Anthony limped away last week. But three of those victories came against teams with losing records, and they have struggled to beat the league’s top teams. They are 2-3 against teams that made the playoffs last season.

The Magic are 8-3, despite the uncertainty surrounding their star center, Dwight Howard, who has requested a trade.

The Knicks’ progress has been slowed by roster turnover and by injuries to Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert. They have started three players at point guard, going from Toney Douglas to Shumpert to Mike Bibby. D’Antoni is undecided on who will start against the Magic.

Eventually, Davis is expected to take over the point-guard duties, which should smooth out the offense and, in effect, give the Knicks a deeper bench, with Shumpert or Landry Fields moving to a backup role.

Opening Victory Takes Toll, Leaving Knicks Seeking Short-Term Help

D’Antoni paused and issued a diplomatic answer about how Glen Grunwald, the Knicks’ interim general manager, is exploring possible short-term opportunities.

And then D’Antoni flashed a smile that all but said there was no chance of a return for the diminutive, talented but sometimes exasperating Robinson, whom Oklahoma City waived on Saturday.

Still, with three games in four days beckoning on a West Coast trip that begins Wednesday against Golden State and its new coach, the former Knick Mark Jackson, the Knicks need help.

They should get some from Mike Bibby, who after sitting out nearly a week with a back injury is expected to make his Knicks debut Wednesday.

Bibby is particularly needed because the rookie point guard Iman Shumpert is expected to miss two to four weeks with a sprained right knee sustained in Sunday’s victory over the Celtics.

In addition, Jared Jeffries is expected to miss one to two weeks with a groin injury.

That leaves the offense in the hands of Toney Douglas, with Bibby behind him. And it is not much better at the other backcourt spot, where starter Landry Fields does not have a healthy natural shooting guard to back him up.

And there will be times when Carmelo Anthony initiates the offense, as he did for most of his 17-point fourth quarter Sunday.

Anthony said he did not do much of that the past three seasons playing alongside Chauncey Billups in Denver and in New York. But because D’Antoni says that Douglas is not “the classic playmaker,” Anthony is needed.

As for the 33-year-old Bibby, he will give the Knicks a different look, D’Antoni said, because “Mike’s been in the league for 58 years.”

D’Antoni added, “He’s got experience, he knows how to run a team and he’ll make open shots.”

SPURS 95, GRIZZLIES 82 Manu Ginobili scored 24 points and San Antonio got some payback after a stunning playoff collapse last season, beating visiting Memphis. (AP)

MAGIC 104, ROCKETS 95 Hedo Turkoglu scored 23 points to lead five Magic players in double figures as Orlando earned its first victory of the season with a win over visiting Houston. (AP)

RAPTORS 104, CAVALIERS 96 The rookie Kyrie Irving scored 6 points and hardly played like the No. 1 overall pick as visiting Toronto spoiled the Cleveland guard’s N.B.A. debut. (AP)

PACERS 91, PISTONS 79 Roy Hibbert had 16 points and 14 rebounds to help host Indiana top Detroit in the season opener for both teams at the renamed Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (AP)

BOBCATS 96, BUCKS 95 D. J. Augustin scored 19 points, the rookie Kemba Walker added 13, including two free throws with 9.9 seconds remaining, and Charlotte erased a 14-point deficit to beat visiting Milwaukee in the teams’ season opener. (AP)

THUNDER 104, T’WOLVES 100 Kevin Durant scored 33 points to lead Oklahoma City, which has started off a season loaded with expectations at 2-0, to a win at Minnesota. (AP)

NUGGETS 115, MAVERICKS 93 Ty Lawson scored 20 of his 27 points in the first half for visiting Denver as Dallas was drubbed for a second straight game, routinely giving up easy baskets in both. (AP)

HORNETS 85, SUNS 84 Eric Gordon made a 20-footer from the top of the key with 4.2 seconds to play in his Hornets debut to give New Orleans a victory at Phoenix. (AP)

At the Garden, the Knicks’ Guest List Looks a Bit Incomplete

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat will play at Madison Square Garden only once, as will Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and Blake Griffin.

And Kevin Durant will not visit New York, nor will Mark Jackson return to the Garden this season for the first time as Golden State’s coach.

The , released Tuesday, will begin with the Dec. 25 opener at home against the Boston Celtics, who swept them out of the last postseason. But it also features the quirks that come with a shortened schedule, the way the 50-game slate did in 1998-99 after that season’s lockout.

The Knicks will play one stretch of three games in three nights, Feb. 2-4, with home games against Chicago and the Nets (who have two three-game stretches) sandwiched around a trip to Boston.

They will also make one trip beyond the Central time zone, a West Coast excursion of three games in four nights after the opener to play Jackson’s Warriors on Dec. 28, Bryant’s Lakers on Dec. 29 and the Sacramento Kings on Dec. 31.

Also, 27 of the 66 games are scheduled to be nationally televised.

The lack of an Anthony “homecoming,” however, stands out most. Unlike Stoudemire, who received a raucous, friendly ovation on his return to Phoenix last season, Anthony would have probably returned to Denver as a villain after his February trade to New York.

He will, however, face the Nuggets on Jan. 21 at the Garden, three days after Stoudemire faces the Suns there.

Based on last season’s standings, the Knicks appear set up for a good start. Seven of their first nine games are against teams that finished with losing records last season, although they meet four of those seven opponents (Warriors, Kings, Wizards and Pistons) on the road.

They will not play five games in six nights, as some teams will, but will play four in five nights on five occasions, including a four-game trip Jan. 24-28 to Charlotte, N.C.; Cleveland; Miami; and Houston.

The shortened schedule, though, means James, Wade Company will play only once at the Garden, an April 15 matinee, 10 days before Griffin is to make his only New York appearance in the Knicks’ final regular-season home game.

The Knicks also play in Miami on Jan. 27 and Feb. 23.

As for the other stars, Bryant makes his annual late January/early February trip to New York on Feb. 10. Nowitzki and the defending champion Mavericks make their annual Garden appearance on Feb. 19 for a matinee, and the Knicks visit Dallas on March 6.

Orlando’s Dwight Howard (if he is not traded first) is scheduled to play at the Garden on Jan. 16 and March 28. And if Chris Paul remains with New Orleans, he faces the Knicks at the Garden on Feb. 17.

Durant, though, will not make it to New York with Oklahoma City (where the Knicks play on Jan. 14), nor will San Antonio, Memphis, Houston and Minnesota.

But Durant will make a metropolitan area appearance Jan. 21 in New Jersey, where (Jan. 7 and April 16) and the Knicks once (April 18).

Bryant and Nowitzki will not make it to Newark, but Griffin is scheduled to visit on March 7.

REBOUNDS

Jared Jeffries will be among the Knicks’ first signings when free agency opens Friday. Jeffries, who has spent parts of the last five seasons with the Knicks, has agreed to return on a one-year contract, according to two people informed of the deal. His return helps shore up a thin corps of big men, although the Knicks are still searching for a starting-caliber center.

Howard Beck contributed reporting.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: December 7, 2011

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated the number of occasions the Knicks would play four games in five nights this season as four. They will do it five times, including twice during a five-game, seven-day stretch from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6.