The Knicks have three preseason games left, starting with a second stop in Toronto tonight at 7 PM. Mike Woodson has spoken about building up to something resembling normal lineups and rotations by the final two games, but at least going into tonight, there are still little injuries to work around. A few updates on those minor nicks and scratches, as well as the latest on players at the tail end of longer-term recoveries:
- Pablo Prigioni scrimmaged this weekend after hurting his elbow, but has fallen ill and will not play tonight. I'm surprised Pablo doesn't get sick more often, since I imagine him being unnecessarily hospitable toward pathogens. Fellow injured-elbow-person Iman Shumpert's going to sit tonight, but he's fine, supposedly to the point that he'd play if this game mattered. Raymond Felton and his sore hamstring will sit, too.
- After skipping some weekend stuff (like the open practice) with a stiff back, Andrea Bargnani will play tonight. That's reassuring. Anything involving a back scares me, especially when it is a big person's back.
- This one's a bit weird. Kenyon Martin still hasn't played in preseason, and there's been stuff (like the stuff that sparked Joe's last post) out there about him possibly not being ready for the beginning of the regular season because of ongoing ankle troubles. But not if you ask him. Not at all:
“I’m ready now,’’ Martin said on whether he would be fit for the regular-season opener. “And it’s nine days away. I’m fine, man. If he decides to play me in one of those last preseason games, he’ll let me know. If not, the real show starts and I’m ready.’
“I understand: I’m not a young guy,’’ added Martin, who turns 36 in December. “I’m not going to press the issue about playing preseason [even if] it makes no sense to me. I’m going to press the issue when it’s playing the regular season. Because I want to play. I understand the issue. We have guys fighting for jobs and in order for them to do that, I have to take a backseat.’’
So, that's something to keep an eye on. Let us not take for granted what a good sport Amar'e Stoudemire is about being treated with the utmost care this time of year. Not everyone takes so kindly to injury precaution.
- On that note, Amar'e got cleared for contact over the weekend and J.R. Smith should get cleared soon as well after playing some not-quite-scrimmage-y things over the weekend. Those two may be ready for five-on-five scrimmages as soon as Tuesday.
Tip-off tonight is at 7. Look for a game thread a li'l before then. Hope you're all having splendid days.