The Knicks could get their starting point guard back Saturday against Philadelphia.
If he is cleared by doctors after shootaround Saturday at Temple University, Raymond Felton will start tomorrow night against the Sixers.
Felton, averaging 15.8 points and 6.3 assists, has been out since late December with a fractured right pinkie.
“It takes some slack off of Jason Kidd, gives him some rest and we pretty much get back to how we started the season,” Carmelo Anthony, who has been forced to handle some point guard duties in Felton’s absence, told reporters Friday in Philly, according to KnicksNow.com.
Felton was cleared for contact and practiced Friday and says he’s ready to go.
“I got hit on it a few times and I actually swiped down on the ball really hard down in the post and it didn’t really hurt,” Felton said, according to KnicksNow.com. “Hopefully that’s a good sign.”
The Knicks got Amar’e Stoudemire back from offseason knee surgery after the New Year and welcomed Iman Shumpert back from ACL recovery during their recent trip to London.
Now they will bring Felton back into the fold, which should help both their offense and their perimeter defense.
“That’s big for us,” Felton said. “It’s going to give us a chance to get a few games in with each other, a few practices with each other, and on top of that get a good break, everybody get their legs back from under them, everybody get healthy, and come back from the All-Star break and really get rolling.”
Eventually, coach Mike Woodson said he plans to start Felton and Shumpert in the backcourt, bringing the 39-year-old Kidd off the bench. Kidd’s production has decreased after a fast start, and he has recently been treated for a sore back.
“When you have two threats like Amar’e and J.R. [Smith] coming off [the bench] with [Steve] Novak being able to make shots, I think with Raymond being back it could open some things for Novak a little bit more,” Woodson said.
“The offense seemed to flow pretty good when Raymond was playing in terms of Novak being out on the floor and sometimes them leaving him and not leaving him. To have all three of those guys coming off the bench scoring helps 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.