And though he has eyed the Knicks’ last-ever visit to New Jersey tomorrow as his big return from a bulging disk, the Knicks believe having him back in Cleveland on Friday is more realistic.
Stoudemire has had two contact scrimmages, but yesterday’s practice was canceled because the club was beaten up further with Tyson Chandler’s knee injury. That hasn’t helped Stoudemire get into game shape. he will miss his 12th straight game tonight when the Knicks host the Celtics.
With the Knicks less than two weeks from the playoffs, this is the second straight year Stoudemire will be less than 100 percent in the postseason because of back woes and he still hasn’t figured out how to play with Carmelo Anthony. Stoudemire has taken a vow of silence during his rehab.
“It was a new start for me, a new start for the team, a new start for the Knicks when Coach Woodson came on,” Anthony said. “The most important thing is he held me accountable for everything. It was a lot more responsibility that I had to take on and I was willing to do that. When Coach Woodson took over the job he sat down in front of everybody and I was the one he pointed to and said my responsibilities had to grow. I accepted the challenge.”
Jeremy Lin is a finalist for the NBA Sportsmanship Award. Lin was chosen along with Cleveland’s Antawn Jamison, Dallas’ Jason Kidd, the Clippers’ Chris Paul, Miami’s Shane Battier and Minnesota’s Luke Ridnour. The NBA will announce the winner after the regular season. Lin was selected for the amazing grace with which he handled his sudden global fame that began in early February when he became the Knicks’ starting point guard. Lin also could be considered for Most Improved Player Award but no longer is a shoo-in because he has played just 35 games and may not return following knee surgery two weeks ago. Lin had stitches taken out of his knee a few days ago but hasn’t begun running, and no longer believes he can beat the six-week timetable initally set for his return.
Chandler, who injured his knee in a collision with the Heat’s Joel Anthony and hobbled around in the fourth quarter, won’t be on the injury
report for tonight’s Celtics game. He underwent treatment yesterday and is a go. Chandler, though he didn’t make the All-Star team, is a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, first-team All Defense and one of the three All-NBA teams at center ... Anthony said yesterday rookie Iman Shumpert should contend for an All-Defense selection. “I think Shump deserves All-Defensive team this year,’’ Anthony said. “What he’s been able to do, matching up with the other teams’ best player, shutting them down. As a rookie you rarely see that — a rookie making an impact on the game other than scoring the basketball.’’
Knicks, Carmelo Anthony, Mike Woodson, Stoudemire, Jeremy Lin, Prudential Center, Tyson Chandler, tonightвЂ™s Celtics