It's nothing to get worked up about, but the Knicks will rest Amar'e Stoudemire on Saturday against the Celtics. The game in Hartford, CT is the first of a back-to-back, and the coaching staff is being extra cautious, seeing as it's just preseason. While Amar'e rocks a suit and tie, Mike D'Antoni will have an opportunity to experiment with lineups. Alan Hahn:
D'Antoni will likely sit Amar'e Stoudemire on Saturday and move Wilson Chandler to the power forward spot next to Timofey Mozgov. Fields and Bill Walker are two players D'Antoni wants to see in that two spot, where Chandler has been used to date. Walker injured his left ankle in the second half last night and will be re-evaluated on Friday.
It'll be interesting to compare how the lineup fares on Saturday versus last night, especially since the competition is controlled between games (Boston both times). As much as I'd love to see Landry Fields get a shot at extended spin, I'm hoping that Walker's ankle is supple enough for him to get the starting nod. Bully's looked much sharper in preseason than he did all summer, and it would also be worthwhile to watch this team operate with a more natural shooting guard (Fields, to me, is more useful as a 3). Chandler has shot nicely from the two spot, but he doesn't draw the defense quite like Walker could. I'm also a big fan of Wil at the 4, which is a strategy D'Antoni might choose even when Amar'e is in the fold. Ideally, Kelenna Azubuike would be out there settling into a starting role, but we'll just have to wait on that one.
Anyway, it always makes me itch when players are rested, but this is a wholly paranoid, precautionary measure that should actually yield some interesting room for experimentation.