Varejao Out Two Months; Knicks Need to Slow Down With Amar’e
The National Basketball Association’s leading rebounder is out for two more months with a leg injury and that’s a blow to an already struggling team. Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao is expected to miss potentially eight more weeks after going down with what was initially thought to be a minor knee injury on December 18th.
The Cavaliers can’t seem to catch a break. They already had to go a month without Kyrie Irving this season and now must do without Varejao on what is one of the younger teams in the league. The injury is actually a muscle tear between the knee and the upper thigh and is harming other muscles in the vicinity. At 8-28, the Cavs are only bested by the Wizards for the worst record in the NBA. For a team that has so much work to do, injuries to top players are the last thing they need.
New York Knicks’ team doctors are telling Head Coach Mike Woodson to take it easy and slow down with Amar’e Stoudemire whose surgically repaired left knee is very sore according to the former all-star. Stoudemire is averaging about 10 points per game and around 20 minutes per game since returning to the Knicks. While neither Stoudemire nor Woodson would call it a set-back, it is definitely something New York will need to be careful with going forward.
The Carmelo Anthony-Kevin Garnett feud seems to have reached an end. After waiting for Garnett by the Celtics’ bus the other night, Anthony simply stated that he had some issues with KG’s “topic of conversation” during the Celtics’ win. Both men were assessed double-technicals in the fourth quarter when their trash-talking turned physical. I have no idea what KG, who is one of the best trash-talkers in the game, said to ‘Melo but I’m surprised this stuff doesn’t happen more often. Chirping at the opponent has become too much a part of the game and not just in basketball. Thankfully both men dealt with it without coming to blows.
Games I’m Watching the Rest of the Week
New York at Indiana – My guess is that Carmelo Anthony probably would have heard from the Commissioner by now if he was going to be fined for his actions with Kevin Garnett the other night. Either way, this is a hot Pacers’ team that is 8-2 in their last 10 and comes a win over Miami by ten. I like the Pacers at home where they are 13-3.
Detroit at Milwaukee – The Bucks fired Scott Skiles this week and replaced him with Jim Boylan. Milwaukee is currently three games out of first in the Central Division. The Pistons have gone 6-4 over their last ten games and are suddenly competitive in most games, but they lost ot Charlotte the other night in OT and that just can’t happen. I like the Bucks at home.
Indiana at Brooklyn – The Nets are certainly a different ball club under P.J. Carlesimo than under Avery Johnson, but will it last? The Pacers are playing well and this will be a nice test for both teams. I actually like the Pacers to go in a steal one in the ‘House of Jay-Z’ where the Nets are just 12-7.
Atlanta at Chicago – This used to be an awesome Central Division match-up back in the days of Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan but now the teams are two different divisions and both competitive. The Hawks are three back of Miami while the Bulls are a half game behind the Pacers. Atlanta has slowed down a bit going 5-5 over their last ten while the Bulls have picked up the pace a bit. While each has games between then and now, I like the Bulls in a tight game.