Then the knee injuries began to surface. First it was Carmelo Anthony who injured his knee against the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 4th. Since the injury Anthony has tried to play through the pain in a few games but was far from is All Star form. Against his former team the Denver Nuggets on March 13th, Anthony played just 22 minutes and scored just 9 points on 3 out of 12 shooting. Following the game Anthony went back to New York to have his knee drained and is listed as day to day.
Following the game on March 7th against the Oklahoma City Thunder where he scored 16 points in 29 minutes, Amare Stoudemire had an MRI that determined he would have to have surgery to remove tissue from his left knee. The recovery time will be at least six weeks, which means the Knicks will more than likely play the rest of the regular season without Stoudemire.
In a game against the Nuggets Tyson Chandler bruised his knee when he slammed into Corey Brewer. Since that time he has missed the Knicks last two games and is listed as day to day.
Losing three All-Star caliber players would cripple any team and this is the primary reason why the Knicks are currently 0 for 4 on their west coast trip including a 93-80 defeat on Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Despite playing without Anthony, Chandler and Stoudemire, the Knicks put forth a solid effort in the first half and only trailed by seven at halftime. But the Clippers slowly began to pull away and at one point led the Knicks by 16.
The Knicks will now try to prevent going winless on their west coast trip as the play the Utah Jazz tomorrow night.
After the first month and a half of the season, the Knicks were arguably the best team in the NBA, and seemed as if they would battle the Miami Heat for the number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Now not only have they fallen out of the race for the number 1 seed, but they are also in danger of losing the Atlantic division to the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets are currently only one game in back of the Knicks for the Atlantic division lead. Since the Nets have a better division record than the Knicks, they would own the tie breaker advantage.
In addition to possibly not winning the division, the Knicks are also in jeopardy of not having home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Currently the Knicks are only 2 ½ games ahead of the 5th seed Chicago Bulls. If the Knicks should fall from the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference, there will be trepidation from Knicks fans if they lose in the first round of the playoff again.
Now more than ever the Knicks need someone to spark the team similar to what Jeremy Lin did for the team last year. Even without their 3 All-Star players, there’s enough talent on this team to put forth a better effort and end this four game slide.
Hopefully Anthony and Chandler will return to the starting lineup soon and back to their All Star form and the Knicks can make a deep run in the playoffs. If not some Knicks will point to the Knicks injuries derailing the season. Other Knicks fans will not want to hear any excuses; they just want a championship and will look at the Knicks 2012-2013 season as a lost season.