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Injuries taking their toll on the Knicks

The race for the Atlantic division in the NBA is getting tighter and tighter thanks to the improved play of the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics and the untimely injuries to the New York Knicks.

Currently the Knicks hold a slim 1 ½ game lead over the Nets and just four over the Celtics. New York has lost two straight and is 6-4 over its last 10, while the Nets are 5-5 over their last 10 and the Celtics 7-3. In the conference standings, the Knicks are third, the Nets fourth and the Celtics sixth.

New York has led the division for most of the season, but of late has been hit with injuries to key players. Last week the team lost Amar’e Stoudemire to a knee injury, Carmelo Anthony has been sidelined off and on due to a bum knee and Tyson Chandler had to leave their last game due to banging his knee hard against an opponent.

Anthony announced he would return to the Big Apple before the team does to have his knee examined. The Knicks forward scored just nine points before needing to leave the game during the third quarter. New York eventually was blown out of the game 117-94 by the Denver Nuggets.
Anthony said his knee started to stiffen up during the game and he was unable make moves on the court he is accustomed to making laterally and the power and pop was not in his step.

Anthony will get his knee drained, but the team did not make an announcement about his potential return to the lineup. On Thursday, the Knicks are schedule to play the Portland Trailblazers in Portland. Anthony said he wants to have the knee drained and find out what the cause of the problem is so he can return to the court to help his teammates win a division crown and play in the postseason.

Anthony was excited about playing in Denver, his first return after being traded in 2010, and admits he might have over done it so he could play against his former team. The Knicks forward had only returned to play against Golden State on Monday after missing three straight games with pain in his knee. The New York coaching staff also said they knew Anthony wanted to play in Denver and they allowed him to suit up and play, but would not let him continue playing during the third quarter.

Late in Wednesday’s game against the Nuggets, the Knicks also lost Chandler after he banged his knee into Corey Brewer. Trainers on the team called Chandler’s injury a contusion. His teammates had to help him off the court, as he could not put any pressure on his knee. Nevertheless, he has been labeled as probable for the game on Thursday at Portland.

Chandler, who was selected for the first time this season to play in the All Star game, has not missed a single game this entire regular season. His injury put a big scare into the team after already losing Rasheed Wallace and Stoudemire for the remainder of the season to a fractured foot and a knee problem respectively.

With 20 regular season games to play the Knicks need to recover from their nagging injuries, before they find themselves sliding down the standings in the East.

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