Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
BOSTON – The Knicks may have lost more than Game 1 of their playoff series against the Boston Celtics.
“Mr. Big Shot” may be down for the count, too.
Chauncey Billups strained his left knee while driving to the basket over Jermaine O’Neal with 59 seconds left in Boston’s 87-85 victory at TD Garden.
Billups collapsed to the floor and his status for Game 2 Tuesday remains in question.
“I just went to the basket and as I took off on my leg it just kind of buckled on me,” said Billups, who finished with 10 points on 3 of 11 shooting and four assists.
“The doctor and everybody said it’s just a strain in my knee, the quad, the muscle that extends to my knee or whatever. Just a strain. Hopefully that it’s and we’ll check it [Monday] and hopefully I can be back as soon as possible.
Billups said he wasn’t certain whether he would be available for Game 2. The Knicks are slated to practice here Monday, but Billups will get treatment.
“I really don’t have a clue,” he said. “I’m in a lot of pain right now but that’s to be expected. I have a couple days. Just rest it as long as I can. If I can get out there and help any, I’ll be out there. We’ll just have to see.”
Billups banged his left knee in the second-to-last game of the season against Chicago and had been wearing a protective sleeve on it.
“I kind of banged it in that game and that little spot has been giving me problems,” he said. “That’s why I’ve been wearing a brace in case I get hit again. This time it wasn’t a hit. I just took off and it kind of gave out on me.”
If Billups can’t go Tuesday, the Knicks will be forced to play Toney Douglas and Anthony Carter more and their “Big Three” will be reduced to the “Big Two” of Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.
“I really don’t know what’s his injury right now,” said Anthony, who played with Billups in Denver before both were traded to the Knicks. “I seen him limping right now in the locker room. I asked him was he alright. He said he was cool. So I’m going to go with that.
“As far as him being out, I’m pretty sure he won’t do nothing [Monday]. It’s playoffs though, I’m pretty sure he’ll be ready come the next game.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.