Good day, New York Knicks fans. Today begins a stretch of three games in six days for the Knicks, starting tonight against the Toronto Raptors. The season is so close we can almost taste it. A few thoughts first before we jump into a batch of nice Knicks-related links.
The pessimist in me is worried about this team. The injury bug is already chomping at the bit, and once again, it’s possible that injuries could derail this team from living up to its potential. This is evident in a number of places.
First and foremost, our star player, Carmelo Anthony, is playing the season after recovering from a torn rotator cuff and labrum, which he opted to let heal instead of getting surgery. He looks fine, but it’s risky. Amar’e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith are both recovering from knee surgeries. While they’re due to return at a normal pace, there’s always the chance that players who use their athleticism so much won’t return to their normal selves, and Stoudemire and Smith are both, historically, reliant on their athleticism.
The threat of injuries loom elsewhere, too. Kenyon Martin has yet to play this season (or even scrimmage, possibly). Iman Shumpert just sprained his arm, and of course, has a surgically-repaired knee. Pablo Prigioni also sprained his arm, and he’s 36-years old. Tyson Chandler has an injury history, this past season proving that his play is vulnerable to drop-offs when he’s not at full health. Andrea Bargnani has had injuries that kept him from playing the last two seasons, and recently had to sit out of practice because his back stiffened up.
Injuries can happen to any team at any time, but this particular batch of Knicks is worrisome. Please, basketball gods, resist the temptation.
Now for some links:
– Joe Flynn (@ChinaJoeFlynn – follow him) with an excellent write-up of why Amar’e Stoudemire shouldn’t play center. Until reading this, I was under the impression that STAT always functioned better as a 5, despite his defensive shortcomings. However, as of the last two seasons, the Knicks’ offense has actually suffered when Stoudemire manned the center position. This, of course, only exacerbates the Knicks’ crowded rotation at the four, but ah well.
– Taylor Armosino and Charlie Zegers discussed Carmelo Anthony’s pending free agency on The Knicks Wall. Takeaway: There aren’t a lot of suitable teams for Anthony to book for (maybe the Los Angeles Lakers), and that is a boatload of cash for Anthony to leave behind if he flees the Knicks.
– A bit more on the injury front: Kenyon Martin and the Knicks have a secret minutes-restriction for K-Mart this year. As posed on Twitter: is Kenyon Martin this year’s Marcus Camby? I hope not.
– More from Kenyon Martin: He’s catching Knicks napping.
– The Knicks have officially unveiled their orange uniforms! They look cool, I think.
– Oh, Stoudemire and Smith might scrimmage soon, and hope to be healthy for the start of the season. Obviously, Smith will then have to serve his five-game suspension, but it’d be great to have them both back in action relatively soon. I think it’s important to note that we’ve yet to see this Knicks team at full health.
– Lastly, Hardwood Paroxysm unveiled their season preview today! It’s incredibly long, in-depth, and — I presume — excellent. It costs $.99 (99 cents), so I bought it. I mean, I might buy sushi later today, so I can spare the money for the preview. I haven’t dug in yet, but HP has an excellent crew of writers, and spending the dollar to support them makes me feel good. I suggest you do the same!
Oh yeah, and… Knicks basketball tonight!
Follow Scott Davis on Twitter.