The hobbled Knicks backcourt will get a boost tonight with the debut of Austin Rivers. The offseason pickup was sidelined out the gate by a nagging groin injury but is listed as “probable” tonight’s road game against the winless Toronto Raptors.
With Dennis Smith Jr, Frank Ntilikina and Immanuel Quickley all hampered with various injuries, Rivers’s return can prove timely in providing quality backcourt minutes. Although we can expect rust, Rivers told assembled media following today’s shootaround that he’s focused on effort and hard play tonight.
The one thing that has to be consistent is have to play hard. That’s what our team is symbolized as right now. There’s not [going] to be an off night when you play the Knicks. That’s what we’re trying to establish here.
Derrick Rose is hopeful his back spasm issues are behind him as he looks to return on Sunday against the Los Angeles. Rose tweaked his back on Tuesday in the third quarter of New York’s win over the Miami Heat. After today’s practice, both Rose and Coach Hornacek updated the media on his progress.
Kristaps Porzingis’s best game of the young season was overshadowed by a scary fall with Carmelo Anthony that resulted in a neck strain.
Late in the fourth quarter tonight against the Spurs, Porzingis fell while battling for an offensive rebound. Anthony secured the ball but tripped while going up for a shot. He fell with full body weight on the back of Porzingis’ neck.
The rookie was down for several minutes before rising under his own power.
X-rays were negative and a concussion was “ruled out,” Knicks officials confirmed. The strain is being viewed as a “soft tissue injury.”
Porzingis scored struggled with his shot (5/15, 13 points), but was a force on the glass with 14 rebounds (8 offensive), and on defense with 3 steals and 2 blocks. The Spurs would win the game 94-84.
At press time, Porzingis is expected to be reevaluated tomorrow.
Andrea Bargnani’s return lasted one full game. The injured-plagued foward/center is back on the sidelines after re-aggravating his right calf just one minute into tonight’s game against the Pistons.
Bargnani made his season debut on New Year’s Eve, scoring 9 points in 19 minutes in a 99-78 losing effort to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Bargnani has played just 20 minutes this entire season.
ENOUGH! Remember we gave up two draft picks for this man last year? The Raptors are very grateful for that misstep. If the Pistons could figure out a way to drop their most expensive player in Josh Smith, we surely can figure out a way to get Bargnani out of here.
Knicks forward Andrea Bargnani is now out indefinitely after being diagnosed with a torn ligament in his left elbow.
Bargnani suffered the injury while attempting a dunk in the third quarter of an eventual 110-106 defeat to the Sixers. Bargnani was undercut on the dunk and landed awkwardly on his elbow. He remained in the game until early fourth quarter.
Bargnani had played in every game this season, averaging 13 points and 5 rebounds.
So how many bigs do we have left? With Stoudemire and K-Mart out, we’re left with Tyson Chandler, Jeremy Tyler and Cole Aldrich. Coach Woodson isn’t high on giving the latter two significant minutes, but we don’t have much choice at this point. The “indefinitely” tag has me worried we won’t see Bargs back until after the All-Star break.
Carmelo Anthony is hopeful that he’ll be able to play in tomorrow’s big Christmas game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but cautioned that the ankle injury he suffered against the Orlando Magic Monday night makes it a game-time decision.
Anthony, who’s second behind Kevin Durant in league scoring this year, explained that the ankle roll was not as severe as it could have been.
“I’m walking. I caught it before I rolled it all the way but it rolled pretty bad,” Anthony told the New York Post.
Anthony went up for an offensive rebound in the third quarter and landed awkwardly on a Magic player Tobias Harris, resulting in the rolled ankle. He received treatment on the bench and did not return to the game despite going to the locker room under his own power.
The Knicks and Thunder last met in April in a wild shootout game that saw the Knicks win behind Anthony’s 36 points and 12 rebounds. Durant chipped in 27 points. The win allowed Anthony to take the #1 scoring spot and eventually win the league scoring title.
Much as I’d love to see another Melo-Durant duel, I’d rather our best player sit this one out and get healthy. He’s been playing way too many minutes as it is and trying to guard Durant on a bum ankle will do his health no favors. As we saw in last night’s Magic game, this team is hopeless without him, so risking a situation where he has to miss further time is not smart.
With that said, Melo is a baller and since he’s been here, he’s always loved these Christmas games. I give it a 70% chance that he ends up trying to play.
Knicks center Tyson Chandler has confirmed that he will return to the starting lineup tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Chandler has been sidelined since November 6 after fracturing his right fibula in a collision with Bobcats guard Kemba Walker. In his absence, the Knicks have struggled mightily on the defensive end, posting an overall record of 7-17.
In the four games Chandler has played this year, he’s averaged 7 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal and 2.5 blocks.
Coach Woodson has also confirmed that the addition of Chandler will move Andrea Bargnani to the bench, and Carmelo Anthony to the power forward position.
Finally, some good news! I’m not expecting Chandler to be an immediate savior since the team’s problems are varied. In addition, it’ll take some games before his timing and legs are fully back. But from a morale standpoint, just his presence will be a huge energy burst for this team. The road to .500 begins tonight…
The questions about if Amar’e Stoudemire’s knees would hold up sans a minute restriction have been answered, as the injury-ridden former All-Star may be sitting indefinitely due to swelling.
The news came in scrimmage practice following the Knicks’ 102-101 loss at home to the Washington Wizards. According to Coach Mike Woodson, Stoudemire could be “out a while” due to the flare-ups.
Last night, Stoudemire took to Twitterand refuted the injury claims, stating he is only being held back as a precaution.
Fans, IM NOT INJURED, just want u to know I’m ONLY stay’n bk bc of 6 games n 9 days w/ bk2bks! Body & Knees feel great!
The Knicks play tonight on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks.
While I’d like to share Stat’s optimism, history tells me the man is banged up. This injury now reduces the Knicks available big men to Andrea Bargnani and Cole Aldrich. Tyson Chandler may be back this week, but likely not for tonight. I’m convinced the boxing gods hate us…
Tyson Chandler is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after an examination today discovered a fracture to his right fibula.
The injury occurred last night in the first quarter against the Bobcats. Guard Kemba Walker landed awkwardly on Chandler’s right leg, causing the knee to buckle. Chandler had to be helped to the dressing room and needed crutches to leave the arena.
The fracture is considered “minor” with no ligament damage, meaning the veteran center will not require surgery during the healing process.
Over four games, Chandler averaged 7 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal and 2.5 blocks.
I hope the Knicks can expedite their plans to reacquire rights to Jeremy Tyler, because this team has a daunting month and a half ahead with Chandler sitting. Bargnani at center will not work. Stoudemire? NO. Time to dust off Kenyon Martin’s minute restriction, hope Cole Aldrich can withstand a trial by fire, and pray we can at least keep up in the top half of the standings through December.
The Knicks suffered their third straight loss, this time to the lowly Bobcats. As embarrassing as that is, it wasn’t even the worst even of the evening. Tyson Chandler, the defensive and rebounding archor of the team, went down early in the first quarter after banging/twisting his right knee against a driving Kemba Walker. Chandler had to be carried off the court and left the arena on crutches. The speculation is that he has a bad sprain.
I don’t think I need to explain to any Knick fan how disastrous it’ll be for the team if Chandler is gone for any extended period of time. Just look at this game as a sample. The Bobcat guards were able to waltz in the paint at will. Kemba Walker dropped 25 points and Gerald Henderson added 18. Even the backups (Ramon Session 10 points, Jeffrey Taylor 13 points) took full advantage of the Knicks’ defensive woes.
The offense was still weak as well. Melo dropped 32 points, but did it on 18-32 shooting. He was an integral part of a late fourth quarter run, but as usual the Knicks couldn’t get over the hump and Kemba Walker hit a dagger stepback over Kenyon Martin in the final minute to ice to game.
Going into last night, the Bobcats were the worst shooting team in the league at under 40%. Leave it up to the Knicks to allow them to move up to 29. The Bobcats were shooting 60% in the first quarter (courtesy of easy drives and open threes) and scored 31 points. Deep into the second quarter they were still around 58% and had 64 points at halftime. In the third, the Knicks went down by as much as 13 points before making a run of it.
This team is LOADED with problems. Andrea Bargnani’s lack of defense and rebounding is killing the starting lineup. Melo was seen giving him stern assignment directions in the first half. Our offense is the most predictable in the league — take away the pick n’ roll and it’s all isolation. Outside of Melo and now occasionally Metta World Peace (who played well and chipped in 18 points off the bench), there’s no one that can get easy buckets inside. Amar’e Stoudemire was absolutely wretched — 2 points, 5 turnovers and had his shots repeatedly sent back at the rim in 11 minutes.
We all wait with bated breath today to hear the results of Tyson Chandler’s medical tests. In the meantime, Coach Woodson better think long and hard about his offensive and defensive sets to ensure the Bobcats don’t embarrass our squad again on Friday.