Knicks hope to get injured guys back soon
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
When the New York Knicks turned their roster into the all-AARP team during the offseason, a few setbacks were to be expected.
Anyone who has seen an old guys game at the local rec center knows they tend to be fragile.
But the sheen of the Knicks’ 18-5 start has been dulled by four losses in their past seven games. On Tuesday,the Portland Trail Blazers come to the Garden, and it’s not the elderly veterans whose health (or lack thereof) is compromising their surprise season. It’s the young guys who can’t seem to stay on the floor.
The Knicks hope that trend starts to change soon.
While 28-year-old point guard Raymond Felton will miss at least a month with a fractured finger, MVP candidate Carmelo Anthony, also 28, has missed the past two games with a knee injury suffered on Christmas Day. He is hopeful that he’ll play against the Trail Blazers. He may be joined by forward Amar’e Stoudemire, the 30-year-old who missed the first two months of the season because of knee surgery.
Stoudemire is expected to reassess the matter after a practice Monday before making a final decision about his return. He is expected to come off the bench initially and has expressed a willingness to do so, but it remains unclear how long that role might last.
If Stoudemire does indeed return, the question of whether he can play successfully with this group can finally begin to be answered. During the Knicks’ 36-30 season in 2011-12, in which they fell to Miami in five games in the first round, lineups that included Stoudemire, Anthony and center Tyson Chandler were among the least productive in the league. Anthony has thrived without Stoudemire this season, as his scoring (28.5 points per game, ranked second in the league) is up nearly six points from 2011-12 and he is shooting at a three-point clip (43.4 percent) that is on pace to be a career high.
But with the offense declining of late and so much of the Knicks’ core banged up, the Knicks are ignoring all the chatter about whether Stoudemire will fit and eagerly … [For more on New York Knicks hope to get injured guys back soon, click here.]