It has been one painful week for the New York Knicks. Injuries have taken out of 3 of their starting lineup.
Amare Stoudemire left their game against Detroit because his back tightened. Stoudemire’s back injury is a huge concern for the Knicks. Stoudemire’s injury is a huge concern for the Knicks, because of those back problems that caused a disadvantage for him and the Knicks during last year’s playoff loss to Boston.
But their biggest fears of him being out for the rest of the season were put to rest on Wednesday after receiving a second opinion that said he would not need surgery on the bulging disk in his back. Instead Stoudemire will receive non-surgical treatment and rehabilitation. He will also get an epidural for pain relief. He is expected to be out 2- 4 weeks.
As if that was not bad enough news for the Knicks Jeremy Lin was listed as questionable day to day but is now expected to miss the rest of the season. Lin sat out the fourth quarter with a sore right knee when they played the Milwaukee Bucks. The swelling went down in his knee but the pain did not. After discussing the options he had, the best option was surgery. He had an MRI exam this week that showed a small chronic meniscus tear and he has opted to have surgery next week. Lin will be out for at least 6 weeks. Unless the Knicks make a deep post season run, one of the biggest stories in basketball this season is done.
Unable to hide his disappointment at a press conference Lin said, “If this was done very early in the year, obviously … I don’t know where my career would be. I could be, would be definitely without a job and probably fighting for a summer league spot, but having said that, this happening now hurts just as much, because all the players, we really put our heart and souls into the team and into season, and to not be there when it really matters most is hard.”
Big Fine for Big Baby
The NBA has fined Glen Davis $35,000 for what was believed to be an obscene gesture towards a fan. But Davis says that it was not as sinister as many believe. He claims that he was wiping blood of his hand after he touched a gash on his scalp after a hit on the head from a Raptors player in the second quarter.
The hit was caught on TV and shows that Davis was checking his head for blood and in pain while fans booed him. Davis then extended his right middle finger and put it into his mouth and licked off the blood.
Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose has now missed 10 straight games with a right groin injury. Rose was stretching in the weight room before tip-off but still did not play against Oklahoma City, they lost 92-78. He is unsure of when he’ll return to the Bulls starting lineup, but he doesn’t expect to miss the remainder of the regular season. He hasn’t taken any contact in practice since his injury and has admitted that he is still having a hard time running while the scar tissue breaks up. Coach Tom Thibodeau has said Rose is “moving along the way that we anticipated”. And the team does not want him to play until he is 100%.
A Stern Approval
NBA Commissioner David Stern said it’s been a “surprisingly good” season considering the late start and the potential for unhappy fans in the wake of the labor dispute that cut 16 games from the schedule. Stern also said there are already signs the collective bargaining agreement is having an impact. Teams are making personnel decisions to cut payroll and avoid the stiffer luxury tax that the new deal creates. “It’s been a good year,” he said, “surprisingly good for us in terms of all the metrics that we use television viewership, attendance, merchandise sales, much better than I think we had a right to expect, but we’ll take it because it’s a lot of fun.” He said that coming off a highly successful season helped, as did getting the season off to a big start with five Christmas day games, followed by some great story lines, particularly Jeremy Lin in New York. Lin helped with viewership from non basketball followers because of his Cinderella story. The season has had a few bumps but going from potentially no season at all to already heading into the playoffs, everything is working well.