Apr 28, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; New York Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire (1) during the second half of game one in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Miami Heat of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
In case you missed it, Amar'e Stoudemire decided to celebrate last night's loss by pounding on a fire extinguisher cabinet with his left hand. The glass on the door of the case shattered and, somewhere along the way, Amar'e split the side of the hand open, a move that decorated the locker room carpet with blood and required emergency medical attention. It was, the reporters say, absolute bedlam, and ended with Stoudemire being hurried out to the team bus without talking reporters. He did, however, post an apology on Twitter later in the evening.
Meanwhile, back in the Knicks-Heat series, the two teams are on their way to New York and will meet for the first of two games at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. From the sound of things, Amar'e and his fresh stitches will miss Game Three and possibly more. Ian Begley:
A league source told ESPNNewYork.com that Stoudemire is "almost certain" to miss Game 3 on Thursday in New York and there is a possibility that Stoudemire could miss the rest of the series.
Stoudemire was treated by paramedics and team doctors from both the Knicks and the Heat and was seen leaving the arena with his left forearm and hand heavily bandaged and his arm being supported by a sling. He suffered the laceration on the inside of his palm, on the side of his hand closest to the pinkie.
Stoudemire hasn't undergone any MRIs or X-rays and the team provided no further update on the extent of the injury.
That sucks, and I really hope the injury isn't revealed to be anything worse than a surface laceration (Update: He'll see a specialist today to make sure there's no ligament or tendon damage). It was a foolish, impulsive move from a guy who's had a really difficult season. His frustration is understandable, though it's pretty hard to defend that method of blowing off steam. (Like I said last night: SOFT THINGS. At least he used his left hand.)
Back to the actual series, though. I don't quite count myself among those who wanted Amar'e banished from the court for his poor play (almost entirely defensive) last night. I will, however, admit to being curious about how the Knicks might perform without him and with Carmelo Anthony as the power forward again. At best, they can rekindle some of that mid-April magic. At worst, things will just continue as is. I suspect the latter, but there's no point in not trying now and, in fact, no other viable option. Heal up, Amar'e, and uh...good luck, Knicks.
(Also, R.I.P. fire extinguisher box. Funny how a big celebrity cuts his hand and it's a bigger deal than the violent death of a first responder.)