The Knicks might be able to get back into the series tonight vs. Boston without point Chauncey Billups, but they can't possibly even the series if they don't get back Carmelo Anthony.

Billups is expected to miss tonight's Game 2 at TD Garden and possibly beyond after straining his left knee Sunday. Anthony already seemed to miss Game 1.

In the wake of his Melo meltdown and disturbing 1-of-11 second half, Anthony admitted yesterday he didn't realize the Knicks were out of timeouts after Ray Allen's 3-pointer gave the Celtics a two-point lead with 11.6 seconds left. In fact, Anthony didn't know until the Post's Mike Vaccaro informed him after practice.

Anthony said he expected D'Antoni to call a timeout after Allen's bucket. Instead the Knicks raced up-court and Anthony, perhaps not mentally sharp, missed a contested potential, game-winning 3-pointer from the right side.

"I didn't know, to be honest, and maybe that's my bone-headed mistake," Anthony said in the wake of his 5-of-18 showing in the Knicks' 87-85 heartbreaker. "The shot felt good when I released it. It fell a little short, but I've made that shot before."

Anthony finished 5 of 18 in his Knick playoff debut, and Billups injured his right knee after landing wrong on a drive to the basket in the final minute, leaving him still limping and sore and imperiling his status for the rest of the series.