Knicks Still Hurting, Still Confident

GREENBURGH, NY – The New York Knicks played pretty well without Chauncey Billups and Amar’e Stoudemire in the second half of Tuesday’s Game 2 in Boston. And the numbers show that the Knicks have played much better when they’ve had just one of their stars on the court than when they’ve had two or three.

But, of course, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni would prefer that Stoudemire and/or Billups are healthy for Friday’s Game 3 at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).

The Knicks practiced without Stoudemire or Billups on Thursday. Billups received treatment on his strained left knee at the Knicks’ practice facility, but Stoudemire was getting treatment at his home in Manhattan, so that he didn’t have to travel an hour each way in the car and possibly aggravate the pulled muscle in his back.

D’Antoni is clearly more optimistic about the chances that Stoudemire will play Friday, but the team will have to wait until at least Friday morning to see how Stoudemire feels.

Billups had blood drained from his knee and took a cortisone shot on Wednesday.

“At this point, I know there’s no way I can come back and be 100 percent,” Billups said. “But I don’t have to be 100 to come back. I just want to be able to help the team and not hurt the team. If I can get to that point, then I’ll be out there.”

No matter what players he has on the floor Friday, the second half of Tuesday’s game in Boston gives D’Antoni’s confidence a boost.

“The way we played the second half in the second game without [Billups and Stoudemire], we’re confident that we can still get the job done,” D’Antoni said. “We’re definitely not having our heads down or whatever. We think we can it done no matter what. It would be great if those guys can participate. If not, we’ve got to win anyway.”

The Knicks’ injuries don’t end with Stoudemire and Billups. D’Antoni revealed Thursday that Ronny Turiaf was bothered by knee soreness in Game 2, complaining of pain before the fourth quarter on Tuesday.

“In my mind, at that point, he was done for the day,” D’Antoni said, explaining why, if he was going to replace Jared Jeffries on the Knicks’ final offensive possession, he would have had to go to Shelden Williams, who hadn’t yet played in the series.

Turiaf is still expected to start Game 3, however. If neither Billups nor Stoudemire can play, D’Antoni will start the same lineup that started the second half on Tuesday: Toney Douglas, Landry Fields, Anthony, Shawne Williams and Turiaf. That lineup played just five minutes together in Game 2 and has played just eight minutes together overall.

In Celtics’ injury news, Shaquille O’Neal will be making the trip to New York for Games 3 and 4. That’s no guarantee that he’ll play, but it means that he’s closer to returning to action.

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John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.

12 Comments

  1. Law064 says:

    LMAO Knicks are done in 5 they won’t see a game 6

  2. Will C. From N.C. says:

    and Francisco u aint makin no damn sense neither ….u n TOMG need to jus hang out n chat i bet that would be quite the stimulating conversation LOL …..Knicks gonna make their way back jus watch ….its a whole new ballgame at MSG KNICKS IN 6 ….follow me @WillieFoFo

  3. Will C. From N.C. says:

    ayo …..TOMG i usually dont do this but uhhh …WTF are u talkin about?????

    errybody follow me …. @WillieFoFo

  4. Law064 says:

    Boston will be up 3-0 tomorrow for the morons who said the Celtic’s will get upset. Think again Boston in 5

  5. Francisco says:

    Now you are in style, good girls gone bad….like you feeling like a champion, and the city that´s never sleep better sleep….right next to de Niro i used to cup in harlem….,8 million histories…statue libery im from the empire state mind…there´s nothing you can´t do….

  6. adrixe says:

    I don’t think knicks has the power or the swagger to beat the Cs!!! it’s all about the swagger!

  7. Fan says:

    No way the Knicks will beat Boston! Even fully healthy! they might get a game, maybe even 2. In a seven game series it’s Boston all the way baby!

  8. TOMG says:

    CAMELO ARE GREAT KEEP IT UP DOG AND SO DOES BILLUP AND AMERI STARTERMIRE YOUR DOG ARE GREAT TO WATCH WHEN YOUR ARE WINNING NO DOUBTH IN MY MIND , AND THAN THE HEAT WILL WAIT IN LINE TO SCHOOLING YOUR KNICK , AMEN

  9. TOMG says:

    KARMA ARE FOR REAL DOG THE CELL CELTIC WILL LOST AND NEED TO GO HOME BY THE TIME AFTER GAME SIX YEAH ,AMEN

  10. TOMG says:

    I LOST ONE MILLION DOLLARS ON THE CELL – CELTIC NOW , I WANT TO WIN TEN MILLION DOLLARS BACK ON MY TEAM THE KNICK DOG WILL IN SIX GAME I QURRANTEE THE MONEY WILL BE WORTH IF FOR THE KNICK TO GO ALL THE WAY AND WILL LOSE TO THE HEAT DOG THAT MY GIANT GAME PLAN AT THIS GIVEN MOMENT AND JUST ENJOY THE MOMENT DOG , AMEN

  11. TOMG says:

    GO NEW YORK WILL GET THE JOB DONE WITH CAMELO IS GREAT KEEP IT UP MELO I WANT YOUR GAME TO GO TO ANOTHER LEVEL SUCH AS 7O POINTS PER GAME SO YOU MELO AND YOUR KNICK TEAM CAN SCHOOLING THOSE C – THE CELTIC ARE OLD NOW , I WANT TO SAW AMAR STARTERMIRE TO HAVE A GAME HIGH TOO SUCH AS 5O POINT DOG , SO YOUR TEAM CAN GIVE THE C – CELTIC GO HOME FOR THE NEXT SEASON DOG , I HATE THE C -CELTIC DOG , NEED TO GO HOME C – THE CELTIC , AHHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA
    AHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
    AHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA
    AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH