The news out of Sunday’s practice session for the Knicks surrounded power forward Amar’e Stoudemire. After Stoudemire suited up for the first time on Friday night in Montreal, he voiced some concerns to the training staff with pain in his knee. An MRI revealed a ruptured popliteal cyst and the big man flew back to New York to have his left knee reevaluated. The team said he will be out approximately 2-3 weeks as the squad practiced at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
Head coach Mike Woodson explained how he will utilize different lineups to account for Stoudemire’s absence.
“We can mix and match based on personnel going into games that maybe the case. If they have a big lineup, you might want Kurt in the game, play Melo at his natural position. If they have a small lineup like Miami plays with [Chris] Bosh at the center and LeBron [James] at the 4, then you can play Melo [Carmelo Anthony] at the 4. That’s the beauty with the guys that we have is that we can mix and match certain positions.”
Anthony and Stoudemire were looking forward to a full training camp together to build some chemistry heading into the regular season. Anthony expressed concern for his frontcourt teammate, “It’s sad right now. It seems like he can’t catch a break. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious.”
As Woodson mentioned, there is a chance Anthony will see time at the power forward position during the preseason and regular season games if needed. Over the last couple of years, Anthony has excelled on the blocks, using his speed and quickness to blow past slower power forward defenders. He also owns the size and strength to defend in the post as seen in games against David West and the Pacers last season.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll be there,” Anthony reacted. “ I don’t have any problem, I played it last year, played the 4 or 5 this whole summer, so I won’t have any problem playing that position.”
On a positive note, shooting guard Ronnie Brewer participated in a light scrimmage on Sunday. Woodson said he will speak to Brewer and possibly play him in the preseason tilt against the Sixers on Monday night.