This Knicks season has been a major disappointment so far, to say the least. A team coming off a 50+ win season is now looking like a lottery team, currently sitting at 8-17, which is one of the worst records in a weak Eastern Conference. One of the key factors is the Knicks injuries that have been crippling this season — so many key players have been hurt throughout the season.
The biggest example being Tyson Chandler. The 7 foot center has done wonders in New York so far, being the anchor of the defense. It is hard not to see his impact. When he was out, the Knicks defense was noticeably worse. They were giving up more points, because of not having a real presence to fill the gap he left at the center position; the Knicks defense suffered immensely without him patrolling the paint.
Raymond Felton has also been battling injuries. When 2/5 of your starting line up is hurt, you are usually going to have problems. The Knicks encountered this already. Felton has been out for a portion of the season with nagging back and hamstring injuries, and when he was on the court he has been highly ineffective. In today’s NBA, point guard and center are arguably the most important positions, and the Knicks have been missing their starters at those position for most of the season.
Pablo Prigioni also just went down with a fractured toe and will miss time. This leaves the Knicks with very few options at the PG position, meaning Beno Udrih having to start, while the unproven rookies Toure Murry and Chris Smith coming off the bench.
The Knicks have also been dealing with injury prone players they have to restrict. Amar’e Stoudemire had minutes restrictions at the start of the season, but they both went over them in times of need and played very well. Only problem is now Kenyon Martin is battling a strained abdomen that will keep him out a bit, and Amar’e missed a game with swelling in his knees. Both were playing good ball, and Amar’e looked as explosive as he did back in Phoenix. With them both falling to injuries, the Knicks are now weakened in their front court missing two of their key players.
The Knicks have been stung by the injury bug in the early going and that greatly contributed to their weak start. At 100 percent, the Knicks could be a deadly team — too bad we have yet to see that, though.