New York Knicks Playoffs Chances Dwindling with Injuries to Key Players

Things do not look good for New York basketball fans. If people thought that there was a 20 percent chance of the Knicks pulling an upset and beating the Heat before yesterdays game (and that would be generous), then I would say there is no more than a 5 percent chance now.

It has already been made clear that Iman Shumpert will be out for a long time after tearing his ACL during Saturday’s Game 1.  The 6’5″ rookie shooting guard has been the lesser part of the defensive duo that also includes Tyson Chandler. Shumpert was supposed to take on the defensive matchup of Dwyane Wade. Many believe that Wade is the key to the Heat’s championship run, and that if he plays poorly they lose their edge. Now it will be up to Landry Fields and J.R. Smith to contain him, both of which lack the defensive prowess that Shump has.

Speaking of  Chandler, he is still not fully recovered from the flu that essentially nullified his appearance in Game 1. Coach Mike Woodson has said that he hopes “a miracle happens overnight and that he is ready to play.”

Certainly not great news for fans who do not want to see Lebron James trample through the paint again. I think judging from Tyson’s prior history and commitment that he will play. The question is how much of his defensive player of the year candidate skills show up.

Jared Jefferies, Chandler’s typical back-up, is also battling through pain as his knee barely lets him play 10 minutes. He played only seven in Game 1, but he is badly hobbled.

It was reported that he played through a lot of pain, and was very sore on Sunday. Similar to Chandler, it is unclear how much he can give the Knicks if he does play. The depth up front is so poor, that after Jefferies comes rookie Josh Harrellson, who played well early this season, but has been unable to impress Coach Woodson since returning from his broken wrist.

The starting lineup took another hit when Baron Davis told reporters that his back tightened up after taking a hard hit from Wade. The point guard has been injured practically the whole season, but performed very well in the first quarter of Game 1.

Davis scored 10 points in the game. If B-Diddy does not play tomorrow, then the ever aging Mike Bibby will have to man the point. Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade’s defense will make cheap work of his efforts, and create even more turnovers.

Jeremy Lin can not come back soon enough.

That leaves a starting line up of Mike Bibby, Landry Fields, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Josh Harrellson. What a scary thought.

Let’s hope Woodson,  Anthony and Stoudemire have something up their sleeves for the next few games, because if not, they will have plenty of time over the summer to think about what they should have done.

I would say that the chances are slim? Wouldn’t you?


Tags: Baron Davis Heat Iman Shumpert Jared Jefferies Knicks Mike Woodson Tyson Chandler

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  • Scott Davis

    Nice work. Seems quite typical of this season that as we enter the playoffs, our (arguably) best player gets injured, our hottest player goes cold, our best wing defender tears his ACL, and our only semi-reliable PG re-injures his back.
    But how many times have we counted this team out and they show some grit? A win tomorrow changes the entire series. And the Knicks have consistently shown more fight at MSG, steal one of the next two and it gives Lin a chance to return by Game 5, if he’s not already back by game 4.

  • IanGarrett

    Excellent article. Iman’s injury will in all likelihood decrease the Knicks chances of winning even one game in this series, you are correct. Every team has their “last breath” that always seems to make it’s loudest sound during playoff time, and that time will come for the Knicks fairly soon.
    P.S. I think trying to rush Lin back from his rehab can have negative results, especially if (as a fan) you want him to resign with the Knicks or to play well next season. Rushing a player back from any sort of surgical procedure has proven time and time again that it increases the risk of re-injury. With all of that being said, the Knicks have so much heart, competitive edge, and basketball smarts that they could use to beat the HEAT. We’ll find out if that can help them win tonight.