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.
Knicks Stars Anthony, Stoudemire Questionable for Utah
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The Knicks may conclude their homestand tonight against the Utah Jazz without the services of both Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
Both Knicks stars are questionable with knee problems, and one or both may just sit out until the five-game West Coast swing begins Monday at Golden State.
Asked if it was possible they would play without both players, Tyson Chandler said, “Yeah, that definitely might happen. But that’s something that we’re prepared to do.”
Asked how the team, which is coming off a 95-94 loss to Oklahoma City on Thursday, would handle playing without both players, Chandler added: “You play basketball. This is the New York Knicks. It ain’t about Melo, it’s not about Amar’e, it’s not about Tyson Chandler. It ain’t about any other individual. It’s a team. It’s not tennis or golf or anything else that’s an individual sport.”
Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he would go with the same starters as Thursday — Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, James White, Kurt Thomas and Chandler.
J.R. Smith went off for 36 points off the bench in the game, but missed two potential go-ahead shots down the stretch. The Knicks will again have to count on Smith, and on Chris Copeland off the bench for offense.
“Tonight we might have to lean on Cope some because we’re going to need some offense,” Woodson said.
Anthony has missed the last two games with a stiff/sore right knee and may stay on the sidelines until the five-game West Coast road trip begins Monday in Golden State. The Knicks will go West for their annual sojourn during the Big East Tournament at the Garden.
The Knicks are 4-5 without Anthony, the NBA’s second-leading scorer.
“He’s still day-to-day,” Woodson said of Anthony. “He’s a game-time decision again tonight so we’ll have to wait and see.”
Asked if Anthony had considered having the fluid on his knee drained, Woodson said, “I don’t know what they plan on doing. I know he’s getting his treatment. And you don’t always have to drain. You can treat and the swelling can go away that way as well. We just gotta give it time and see what happens.”
As for Stoudemire, he is riding a 30-minute limit following his offseason knee surgery, but played four games in five nights and now has what Woodson called “sore knees.”
“Both knees are sore and he’s just in there getting treatment,” Woodson said.
Woodson said he planned to keep Stoudemire on the minutes limit going forward in order to protect him for the postseason.
“Absolutely,” he said. “It’s gotta be that way. If we’re in a seven-game series, then that’s different. Then it’s time to play because all the marbles are on the table.
“But right now we got 23 games left and a lot of basketball to be played, so we just gotta be careful with all our older guys that we’re not trying to burn them all in one game because we do have enough talent on this team that we don’t have to do that.”
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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.