The New York Knicks should be relatively healthy for their first round playoff series against the Boston Celtics.
Other than the sprained ankle that point guard Pablo Prigioni suffered on Wednesday night, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson should have a full complement of players at his disposal, as the likes of Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby should all be ready to go.
One name that won’t though is Amar’e Stoudemire; as the coach has all but ruled the power forward out for the Celtics series.
“I think he’s going to be out,” Woodson told ESPN’s Ian Begley on Thursday. “That’s my gut.”
The veteran power forward underwent surgery March 11 to clean up debris in his right knee. He was on the floor for practice, but Stoudemire hasn’t begun running yet.
The original timetable for Stoudemire after the surgery was four to six weeks, which would put him back on April 22, the day before Game 2. But Stoudemire still appears a long-shot at best.
“I’m doing everything I can to get back out there and be extremely strong and healthy so, hopefully, I’ll be out there soon,” Stoudemire told Begley.
However it may be a blessing to not disrupt what has become great chemistry at the moment as the Knicks have gone 17-6 since he left the lineup.
Even though he won’t be available, it didn’t stop STAT from offering up his thoughts on the Celtics series, predicting a series victory.
“We’re going to win that first round for sure,” he told ESPN’s Jared Zwerling during a screening of his upcoming EPIX documentary, “Amar’e Stoudemire: In The Moment,” which premieres on April 19. “Obviously, as we all know, with the Celtics, you can never underestimate those guys. We’ve got to definitely come to play every game, and bring that focus and determination every single night. I have high confidence in what we can do.”
Prigioni is listed as questionable, but other than that, Woodson should have the deepest bench available to him in quite some time for Game 1, which begins Saturday afternoon.
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