The disappointing start to the season for Raymond Felton has been one of the many reasons why the Knicks have struggled in the early going. Until now, the point guards poor play had many scratching their heads, wondering if Raymond was once again more interested in buffets than basketball.
Now it seems as if there is at least an explanation as too why Felton has gotten off to such a poor start.
The New York Knicks announced late Monday that Felton, who is in his eighth season as a pro, has been dealing with a sharp pain in his hip caused by a pinched nerve. Felton says the injury causes him to have shooting pains down his leg and that he is taking medication to treat some of the symptoms.
“ Nobody’s known about that, because I don’t like making excuses,” Felton said. “But hopefully, the treatment kicks in, and we’ll see how it goes.”
Felton’s shooting coach, Ivorie Manning, told reporters that he could tell Felton had been playing under stress through the early part of the season.
“He just said, ‘I’m not making any excuses, but my hamstring is killing me,’ ” Manning said. “I can tell. With me being here in town, and us not going to the gym last night, that tells me what kind of state he’s in. I know how much he likes to work, but he just wants to rest at this point. Ray is not one to rest.”
While Felton’s injury does shed light on some of the point guards early season struggles, for the most part Felton’s sub-par play to this point has been widely exaggerated.
When looking at the point guards numbers through the first nine games, the only glaring deficiency seems to be Felton’s three point shooting percentage, which is drastically down from his career averages. This, of course, could be a direct result of the discomfort Felton has been dealing with, which likely has been the reason for the flat shots Felton has been hoisting up from beyond the arc.
Here are Felton’s per game averages through the first nine games of this season and last year.
One thing we did not learn from Felton or the Knicks is just how long the pinched nerve is expected to linger. Hopefully for Felton and the Knicks this is not something that follows the Knicks point guard throughout the year.