Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Knicks are an Injured Bunch

Across the league, through this up-and-down lockout-shortened season, there have been a slew of injuries. So, perhaps it's unfair for me to groan and pout and bemoan the Knicks' injury woes. But there's no doubting that the Knicks have consistently been hamstrung and bedeviled by the injury bugs. And as the Knicks' season started showing signs of coming together - the defense nearing elite rankings, the offense playing more smoothly than ever this season, Amar'e Stoudemire regaining his usual form, etc - it all culminated into one agonizing agglomeration.

 - Currently, Jared Jeffries will remain off the court for at least two weeks, but Tommy Dee has heard whispers that he'll be out for even longer. Most Knicks fans (myself included) probably never envisioned a time where we'd be counting the days until Jeffries returns to replace an injured Stoudemire, but that is what we face. Jeffries provides great defense, rebounding, and leadership on the floor, and while he's far from reliable on offense, he provides depth at the 4 and 5 positions.

 - Jeremy Lin sat out last night with a sore knee. I haven't found any updates on Lin, but I imagine he'll be reevaluated before tomorrow's game against the Magic. The Knicks offense looked awfully disrupted without Lin's guiding hands last night. Even when Baron Davis was filling in nicely, he still doesn't have the stamina or rhythm to have the same impact as Lin. With point guard opponents such as Jameer Nelson, Jeff Teague, and Kyrie Irving up next on the menu, it would be handy to have Lin around.

 - The most devastating of them all is that MRI results revealed a bulging disk in Amar'e Stoudemire's back (also a bulging dick - thanks Al Trautwig). Recall that Stoudemire's (and subsequently, the Knicks') playoff run was cut short by a pulled muscle in his back. That same muscle prohibited him from playing basketball in the offseason, and it clearly diminished his explosiveness for a better part of this season. Just as Stat was starting to look like his old, springy self again, this happens. It's a really a sad situation, and while I'm not usually someone to look on the darker side of things, this seems like a problem that could really affect Stoudemire long term. In the article linked above (disk, not dick), it says surgery is a possible route, so we'll see what happens there.

 - To pile on the heap of despair, Carmelo Anthony tweaked his groin in the second half of last night's game. Melo sat for a good chunk of the 4th quarter, but played in the final minutes where he did hit a jumpshot and played some good defense on Mike Dunleavy Jr. Anthony said he'll be reevaluated soon and hopes to play against Orlando tomorrow night. I... don't even know. Get better soon, Melo. Please.

The Knicks are not the only team to be hampered by injuries this season; the Denver Nuggets and Chicago Bulls have had to deal with their fair share too. But with the Knicks in a race to the playoffs with one of the tougher remaining schedules in the league, they can't afford to have their flags at half-mast, so to speak. We'll see what becomes of these injuries, but may everyone recover quickly!

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