The concern is growing in New York City, where an injury-ravaged Knicks team has been treading water since a fast start to the season. Following a 117-94 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday—the Knicks third in four games—New York travels to take on the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday night.
The Knicks (38-23) have slid to third-place in the Eastern Conference behind the No.2 Indiana Pacers by going 21-19 since a fast 17-5 start to the season. Coach Mike Woodson has had to deal with a rash of injuries which of late has included his two biggest stars in Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
Anthony, the NBA’s second-leading scorer, returned from a knee injury to play against the Nuggets, but was forced to leave in the third quarter after scoring only nine points. He is slated to return to New York for further tests on the knee.
In addition to Anthony’s issues, the Knicks also learned last week that Stoudemire’s knee injury will keep him sidelined until at least early May. The next month, beginning with tonight’s game against the Trail Blazers, will be crucial for the Knicks.
Portland (29-34) has lost its last two games and is on the outside looking in of the Western Conference playoff race. The Trail Blazers are also a disappointing 28-32-3 against the spread this season. They are led by power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who leads the team in scoring at 20.8 points a game, and guard Damian Lillard, who is averaging 19 points and 6.4 points a game to be a leading candidate for NBA Rookie of the Year.
As for a prediction, the injury issues the Knicks are dealing with mean there had been no line released as of Thursday morning. Both of these teams have issues that make them a little suspect to use in your NBA picks moving forward.