NEW YORK — The good news for the banged-up Knicks is this. They have only one game in the next seven days, two in the next eight and three in the next 11.
For a team with a whole slew of injuries and ailments, that is good news.
“It is no secret that we have the oldest team,” J.R. Smith said Sunday following the team’s 100-87 win over New Orleans at MSG. “We can definitely use the time off and recover. It is going to be fun. It is the first time abroad during the regular season. It is going to be interesting.”
After practice today, the Knicks will jump on a plane and cross the pond to London where they will practice once or twice before Thursday’s game with the Detroit Pistons.
Carmelo Anthony will have some time to eat a few steaks — or whatever he chooses — after fasting for 15 days and losing energy.
Iman Shumpert could make his season debut Thursday after missing the first 37 games with ACL recovery.
“Just to have him back in uniform will be nice,” coach Mike Woodson said.
Raymond Felton (fractured pinky), Rasheed Wallace (stress reaction) and Marcus Camby (plantar fasciitis) remain out for the Knicks. Felton is out 4-6 weeks, Wallace is officially listed as day-to-day and Camby is out 2-4 weeks.
On top of that, Jason Kidd could use the rest as he’s battled ankle injuries and seen his production dip significantly since earlier in the season.
Also, Ama’re Stoudemire is working his back from offseason knee surgery and is now cleared to play 25-30 minutes per game.
“Anytime we get a break in the schedule where guys can get more time to heal up, it works out great for us,” Stoudemire said. “We have so many veteran players, the more time we have off, the better it works.
“At the same time, we need to play to get that experience and keep that rhythm, but having these days off is great for us.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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.