The injury bug hit the New York Knicks in a big way last season, especially in the postseason when they lost Amar’e Stoudemire, Baron Davis and Iman Shumpert to different injuries all in their first round series against the Miami Heat; a series that they were already playing without Jeremy Lin.
The Knicks made some changes this offseason and along with getting older comes the threat of aging bodies breaking down.
If any team can’t afford a plethora of injuries it’s the Knicks and so far through camp the news hasn’t been good. Stoudemire has had some minor ankle problems, Marcus Camby is currently shelved and Shumpert and Ronnie Brewer are recovering from offseason surgery. In addition, James White has a sore right hamstring and Rasheed Wallace is not fit to play, according to head coach Mike Woodson.
You can add one more name to the walking wounded as rookie point guard Chris Smith will be out three to six months as he will have surgery on his left patella tendon Thursday.
Smith wouldn’t have played a major role with the Knicks this season, but he did have an outside shot to make the team and according to ESPN’s Jared Zwerling, J.R.’s younger brother felt he was a lock to make the team, mostly because of his defense, which Woodson loves.
All this shows is how quickly a deep team on paper can become thin very quickly.
In addition to Smith, Shumpert, Brewer and Camby, Wallace and White won’t be available for the Knicks preseason opener on Thursday, meaning six of the 20 players in camp are already on the shelf before even the first exhibition game. Injuries are something that can make or break the Knicks this season.
With all of the injuries, shooting guard Mychel Thompson, and stretch fours John Shurna and Chris Copeland will have an opportunity to make a good first impression against the Wizards.
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