MIAMI – The New York Knicks are in a tough spot.
Not only are they losing their first round series with the Miami Heat after getting drubbed by 33 points in Game 1 on Saturday, but they’re also losing the war of attrition.
Rookie shooting guard (and part-time back-up point guard) Iman Shumpert tore the ACL in his left knee in the third quarter of Game 1. Jeremy Lin, still recovering from surgery on his left knee, is not close to returning. And Baron Davis, after a strong first quarter, couldn’t finish Game 1 because of stiffness in his back.
Most important though, is the status of Tyson Chandler, the Knicks’ defensive anchor. And it doesn’t look to good for Game 2 on Monday (7 p.m. ET, TNT).
After missing Friday’s practice with the flu, Chandler played 21 minutes in Game 1. But he was ineffective on both ends of the floor. And while his teammates were back at AmericanAirlines Arena for practice on Sunday, Chandler stayed at the team hotel.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson did not sound optimistic about Chandler’s status for Game 2.
“The fact that they’re still giving I.V. and things of that nature to him, he’s just barely hanging in there,” Woodson said, calling Chandler a game-time decision for Monday. “I don’t know what he’s going to feel like tomorrow. Hopefully, a miracle happens overnight and he’s ready to play.”
Davis said that his back stiffened up after a collision with Dwyane Wade and a couple of tough screens from the Heat. But he felt better on Sunday and plans to play in Game 2.
Still, the Knicks aren’t likely to get 48 minutes out of Davis and back-up Mike Bibby. Shumpert filled in at point guard in those minutes that the real point guards weren’t in the game. So on Monday, Woodson will need to find someone else to bring the ball up the floor. And that might have to be Carmelo Anthony.
This is all a bit reminiscent of last year, when the Knicks lost Chauncey Billups to a knee injury in Game 1 of their first round series with the Celtics. And then Amar’e Stoudemire injured his back in warmups before Game 2.
“It’s tough, but I’m not one to make excuses,” Woodson said. “We’re going to have to play.”