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.
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With Amar’e Out ‘Indefinitely,’ ‘Melo Tweaks Groin in Win
NEW YORK — Amar’e Stoudemire is out “indefinitely” for the Knicks, and Jeremy Lin is also banged up.
Now the Knicks may have to add Carmelo Anthony to the injured list as well.
Anthony tweaked his groin making a spin move during the second half of the Knicks’ 89-80 win over the Milwaukee Bucks and said he will reevaluate it on Tuesday, when the Knicks are off. They host Orlando Wednesday
“If I had to play tomorrow I probably would, but we’ll see how it feels tomorrow,” said Anthony, who had game-highs of 28 points and 12 rebounds as the Knicks moved 2 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee for the eighth spot in the East.
Anthony missed seven games this season already with a groin injury and other assorted ailments.
Anthony said he hadn’t spoken yet to Stoudemire, who is in Florida getting a second opinion on the bulging disk in his back and hasn’t ruled our surgery. His contract is uninsured because of his history of knee problems.
“I’m trying to get in contact with Amar’e to see what it really is about,” Anthony said. “We’ll see what happens but to hear that he’s out indefinitely really hurts us as a team. He’s one of our guys, one of our leaders. He’s been coming around and it seems like he’s got his legs right, his body right. So to see him go down right now it’s just sad news for us, for me.”
In addition to Stoudemire and Lin, the Knicks are also without Jared Jeffries (knee) and Billy Walker (elbow).
Lin is listed as day-to-day with a sore knee and did not rule out missing Wednesday’s game.
But Anthony said the Knicks had to play as if both Stoudemire and Lin could be gone for a significant amount of time.
“We got 16 games left to get ready for the playoffs,” Anthony said. “We want guys healthy. If Amar’e and Lin gotta sit out the whole 16 games to get ready for the playoffs to get healthy then we’ll take that.
“Our mindset is to get in the playoffs.”
Without Stoudemire, Anthony knows he’ll have to step up. But that could be complicated by a prolonged groin injury.
“I just gotta step my game up,” Anthony said. “Now with them two guys, ain’t not telling what’s the situation with them, so it’s just time for me to step my game up in all aspects.”
Without Lin, Baron Davis started at the point and had 13 points, 7 assists and 9 turnovers.
“I was excited go get out there and continuing to play at a high level,” said Davis, who played 34 minutes. “I think I had the best game of my career since I have been here. It was good to get those type of minutes.”
He did acknowledge the need to cut down on the turnovers.
“Guys are still adjusting to each other and trying to figure out who wants the ball where,” he said.
Davis is coming off herniated disks in his back and said he couldn’t guess on how long Stoudemire might be out.
“He’s a hard worker, he takes great care of his body and we have the best medical staff in the NBA and they’re going to do everything in their power to make sure that he’s [OK],” Davis said.
Interim head coach Mike Woodson, who is now 7-1 since taking over for Mike D’Antoni, said the Knicks would have to continue to play strong defense to make up for Stoudemire’s absence.
The Knicks outscored the Bucks 42-28 in the second half, when they held Mike Dunleavy to just two of his team-best 26 points.
“You are talking about 17, 18 points and eight rebounds,” he said of Stoudemire. “Guys off the bench have to step up and make up the points. “Offensively, I am not really worried about it. If we continue to play unselfishly we will make shots. Defensively, they have to make stops and I thought they answered the bell tonight.”
With Stoudemire and Lin both out, the Knicks had better hope Anthony’s nagging groin injury does not hold him out for an extended period.
“We’ll see what happens,” Anthony said. “We just want guys to get healthy. At this point that’s the No. 1 goal.”.
**For more on the game, read the NBA.com notebook with Notes & Quotes here.
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.