GREENBURGH, NY – Amar’e Stoudemire practiced on Saturday, but it’s unknown whether he’ll play in Game 4 against the Heat on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC).
Stoudemire sliced his hand open after Game 2 in Miami on Monday. And if you saw the image he tweeted on Friday, you might wonder how in the world he could catch a ball or battle for position in the paint without being in a world of pain.
Stoudemire didn’t speak to the media on Saturday, but Knicks coach Mike Woodson said that Stoudemire “looked pretty good” as the Knicks went through their offense in what might have been their final practice of the season.
“It’s going to probably be a game-time decision on Amar’e if he’s going to play or not,” Woodson said. “But he did go through some scripted offense up and down the floor before he shot. We just have to wait until tomorrow and see what happens.”
Tyson Chandler was a little cautious with his prognosis.
“He looked OK, but I don’t know, honestly,” Chandler said. “I don’t know what his hand feels like. I didn’t see him grimace or anything catching passes, but at the end of the day, I don’t know how it’s going to react.”
Woodson added that Stoudemire’s status will be up to the medical staff, not the coach. And if Stoudemire can’t play, Woodson might start J.R. Smith instead of Steve Novak, who has scored just nine points in 67 minutes through the first three games.
“We got off to such a bad start [in Game 3],” Woodson said. “There’s a chance that J.R. can possibly start, so that we can have some kind of offensive firepower, but I have to make that decision based on Amar’e.”
Facing elimination, the Knicks would like to end the franchise’s 13-game postseason losing streak and avoid the embarrassment of a sweep.
“It won’t sit well,” Chandler said of the prospect of his season ending Sunday. “Whenever you get swept, it’s embarrassing.
“I definitely don’t want to go out like that.”