Knicks head coach Mike Woodson confirmed that Iman Shumpert would play tonight in Memphis after dealing with a hip flexor. J.R. Smith will also suit up despite a cheekbone fracture and being forced to wear a protective mask.
Woodson revealed an interesting tidbit at the morning shootaround as he told reporters he suffered with the same injury when he played for the Houston Rockets. In the 1990-91 season, former teammate and legendary center Hakeem Olajuwon accidently hit Woodson on the way down from grabbing a rebound.
“Nobody told me about a mask,” Woodson joked when asked if he was forced to wear protection after his cheekbone injury.
Kenyon Martin and Andrea Bargnani did not travel with the team. Woodson is not sure if Martin will join the squad for any of the three games left on the road trip.
It was quite a weekend for the Knicks in New Orleans, considering Tim Hardaway Jr. and Carmelo Anthony combined for 66 points in the Rising Stars Challenge and Sunday’s All-Star game. Anthony hit a record-breaking eight 3-pointers in a East victory on Sunday.
“Unbelievable. They represented us well. Tim and Melo both shot the lights out and it was exciting to watch,” Smith proudly stated prior to Monday’s practice at Rhodes College in Memphis.
Woodson added, “It was nice watching this weekend and seeing the performance he put on in the young rookie game and so hopefully that will be a nice carry over the rest of the way.”
Scouting The Grizz
Tyson Chandler said he spent some time on the beach recovering mentally and physically from a tough 52 games to start the season for the Knicks. With a clear head, he’s ready for game action, which begins tonight in Memphis against a challenging team and a gigantic frontline.
“We have to do a good job of running them, so we use their size against them. If we allow this to turn into a halfcourt game, that’s what they’re really good at it with the big bodies they have,” Chandler explained.
Watch The Action
Tune to MSG Network at 8 PM to watch the Knicks face the Grizzlies and follow @NYKnicks for in-game coverage.