Knicks' Amare Stoudemire might not be back until...


Knicks' Amare Stoudemire might not be back until...

From Comcast SportsNetGREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -- Amare Stoudemire could be sidelined for two months, the second straight season the New York Knicks forward will miss significant time because of injury.The Knicks said Tuesday that Stoudemire would have left knee surgery and could be out six to eight weeks, more than twice as long as originally estimated when he was hurt during the preseason.The team said he will have a debridement, a procedure to remove tissue."It's tough. I mean, Amare's a big piece to our puzzle, man. I don't care how you slice it," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "We'll be here when he gets back, that's for sure. We've just got to hold the fort down until he's able to get back in a uniform and on the floor playing."Stoudemire missed the first two preseason games with a bruised left knee, then scored 18 points in 27 minutes against Toronto on Oct. 19. He was bothered by more pain and the Knicks announced he had a ruptured cyst and would be sidelined two to three weeks.But he and the Knicks decided after further discussion and consultation to have the procedure.Stoudemire struggled through an injury-filled 2011-12, though none of his problems were with his surgically repaired knee. He missed 15 games because of injuries, 13 with a bulging disk in his back, and his average of 17.5 points was his lowest since his rookie season.His absence further hinders the Knicks' hopes of getting Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony to mesh in their first full season together. The Knicks are just 31-40 when both play, and both have said they expected things to be better this season with their first training camp."It's disappointing. I definitely thought this was going to be the season that we had a chance to go out there and play together in a full season, no injuries or things like that," Anthony said. "But at the end of the day, you can't control that. You can't control what happens to your body, you can't control injuries."We want him to just be healthy. End of the day, when he's ready to come back, his jersey will be hanging in the locker and we'll be ready for him."The Knicks could opt to play Anthony at Stoudemire's power forward spot, which they did with success late last season.New York did get good injury news Tuesday when center Tyson Chandler was able to take part in portions of their practice. He was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee after a collision in an exhibition game last Wednesday, but hopes to play Thursday in the season opener at Brooklyn.The NBA communications staff announced on its Twitter page Tuesday night that the game would be played as scheduled, despite damage to New York's subway system caused by Hurricane Sandy. The NBA said earlier Tuesday it was still evaluating games for later this week.

Ainge admits tough decision ahead between Young and Hunter for final roster spot


Ainge admits tough decision ahead between Young and Hunter for final roster spot

WALTHAM, Mass. – With the Celtics waiving Ben Bentil on Friday, Danny Ainge confirmed what has been reported for weeks: the final roster spot for the Celtics will come down to James Young and R.J. Hunter.

“It’ll probably go down to the wire, down to Monday,” said Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations.

Boston currently has 16 players in camp with guaranteed contracts. The league-maximum of 15 players has to be met by Monday at 5 p.m.

“We’re continuing to evaluate and look for opportunities out there,” Ainge said. “If there are any deals to be had which we’ve been looking for, for a few months. Both of those guys [Hunter and Young[ have played very well and have made the decision very difficult.”

Having to make a tough call at the end of training camp is nothing new to Ainge.

But this time around is very unique.

It’s highly unusual for a team to have to waive a former first-round pick that they selected.

Young was the 17th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft by Boston, while Hunter was selected by the Celtics with the 28th overall pick in the 2015 draft.

“Sometimes the decision is made for me. It’s really easy,” said Ainge. “But this year it hasn’t been that way. Both of those guys have had some outstanding moments in practice, in training camp and in games. So it’s been challenging.”

Boston being in this roster conundrum is due to having lots of draft picks in recent years that either didn’t turn into impact players initially, or were unable to be flipped for more established talent via trade.

In Young’s draft class, Boston selected him with the 17th pick after picking Marcus Smart with the sixth overall pick.

And in 2015, Boston picked Terry Rozier with the 16th overall pick and Hunter with the 28th overall selection. In the second round of that draft, Boston nabbed Jordan Mickey with the 33rd overall pick and Marcus Thornton at No. 45.

Last year’s draft was an even bigger haul for the Celtics, who went into the draft with a record-eight picks.

They traded two of the picks to Memphis, but used the other six which included Jaylen Brown with the third overall selection.

Ainge reiterated that the Celtics like what both players are doing, but doesn’t anticipate a trade scenario presenting itself that would result in both players sticking with the team.

“Unlikely, but always possible,” said Ainge when asked if it were possible for both to remain Celtics.

Both players are still on their rookie contracts, so that along with the increased salary cap teams have now makes each of them a low-risk addition.

However, most of the teams in the NBA have a full roster and the ones that don’t have a couple players in mind to fill out whatever openings exist.

That means there’s a decent chance that Hunter or Young will be waived, clear waivers and can then sign with a team of their choosing.

It sounds good, only if there’s a team to sign with which as stated earlier, is far from a given.