Eddie Castro's Sports: Knicks ’N Cutz
The New York Knicks season has taken yet another U-turn, as the injuries continue to pile up for coach Mike Woodson’s team. Carmelo Anthony had missed 3 of the last 5 games after hurting his knee last week against the Cavaliers. Doctors had diagnosed Anthony with fluid in the back of his right knee. This past Monday night, Anthony made his return but seemed a bit sluggish the entire game. If that wasn’t a big concern, the Knicks got some more bad news a day before Anthony’s scheduled return when the rest of the team found out that power forward Amar’e Stoudemire will miss the next 6 weeks, which is the rest of the season as he plans to get a procedure done on his right knee. It was the left knee that made “Stat” miss one-third of the season. The procedure would be the same as the one he got on his left knee. The injury comes at a bad time. Stoudemire was averaging nearly 22.5 points per game. His production was so significant coach Woodson gambled on a few games and had him play past his 30-minute game limit the team doctors has prescribed for him. He had played over 30 minutes in 3 of the last 4 games, partially due to Anthony’s absence. Stoudemire may be back for the first round of the playoffs.
Even though the Knicks have won 3 of their last 5 games, there has been some serenity on the team about their play with and without “Melo”. It has been said that the team lacks ball movement when Anthony is in the lineup because he’s the type of player that needs the ball in his hand to be effective. Others say that the Knicks are a much fast-paced and are more productive at moving the ball around which allows the team to kick the ball out to find open shots for players like J.R. Smith or Steve Novak to name a few. When coach Woodson was asked about that he simply replied, “Everyone is held accountable in what they do on the floor. When we win, we win as a team”.
However you want to slice ’n dice it, Carmelo Anthony is one of the most dynamic scorers in the league. Whether he slows down the tempo or speeds it up, come playoff time, he will be needed. If there’s anything needs to be done with him at this current time it is perhaps logging him to play less minutes to get him at least close to 100 percent with his nagging knee. It’s safe to say that Miami will lock up the number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Heat have won 18 straight games. Seeds 2 through 8 can go either way in the next couple of weeks. The Knicks have the #2 seed and Brooklyn currently has the #5 seed. Seeds 2 through 8 are separated by at least 3 games. I think everyone is trying their best not to get the 8 seed as that will most likely indicate a first-round matchup with the Miami Heat. It is sure to be a fun couple of weeks as the season winds down.
Sports Notes: (Basketball) Before the Nets get ready for their West Coast trip, Deron Williams and the squad have one more home game at the Barclays Center against the Atlanta Hawks. Nets defeated the Hawks 93-80 in Atlanta last Saturday. Knicks continue their road trip tonight as they play the Portland Trail Blazers. (Football) NFL free agency has begun. What key players will the Giants and Jets add to their team to take the next step towards the Lombardi Trophy? (Baseball) 17 more days until Opening Day!!!