Just when you thought things couldn’t get much worse for the Knicks, Amar’e Stoudemire suffered a self-inflicted wound and could miss the remainder of the series against the Miami Heat.
Following the Knicks’ 104-94 loss in Miami, Stoudemire reportedly punched the glass encasement of a fire extinguisher and suffered a laceration to his left hand. He was treated by paramedics, received stitches and left the arena with his hand heavily bandaged and in a sling.
Stoudemire did not speak to reporters in Miami after the game, but later wrote on Twitter: “I am so mad at myself right now, I want to apologize to the fans and my team, not proud of my actions, headed home for a new start.”
Several hours later, he added: “We all have done thing out of anger that we regret. That makes us human. Bad timing on my part. Sorry guys. This to shall pass.”
Game 3 is Thursday night back in New York and the Knicks, already down 0-2, face the prospect of playing that game, and possibly the rest of the series, without Stoudemire.
“We just know right now that he has a laceration and he’s probably going to be out,” center Tyson Chandler told reporters in the locker room. “I don’t know how bad it is, so we’ll see.”
The Knicks won’t practice Tuesday, giving Stoudemire until Wednesday to get his hand treated. They are already without their best perimeter defender in Iman Shumpert, who suffered a torn left ACL and lateral meniscus in Game 1 and will have surgery Wednesday.
“It’s tough, obviously,” Chandler said. “Amar’e is a huge piece to this team and without him it’s going to make it more difficult. We already lost one player and that’s two players out of the starting lineup, you know it makes it tougher.”
Asked if Stoudemire, who had 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting, let the team down, Chandler added: “It’s tough. Your emotions run high and a split-second decision can obviously alter things and you know you can’t fault anybody because I’m obviously a person that has high emotions at times.
“One quick decision makes a mistake and now you gotta deal with the repercussions.”
This is the second straight year Stoudemire has been injured in the postseason. Last year against the Celtics, he injured his back on a dunk attempt during warm-ups prior to Game 2 and was never the same after that.
Asked how the team would deal without Stoudemire in Game 3, Carmelo Anthony said: “We’ll have to deal with that when that comes around. We got a couple days.”
Asked if he had seen Stoudemire, Anthony, who led the Knicks with 30 points on 12-for-26 shooting, said: “Not yet. I haven’t seen him.”
The Knicks — losers of an NBA-record tying 12 straight postseason games — face the prospect of a Game 3 without Stoudemire, Shumpert and Jeremy Lin. Lin may return later in the series depending on how his surgically-repaired knee feels.
They could revert back to their smaller lineup, with Anthony at power forward. That lineup enjoyed success recently when Stoudemire missed 13 games with a bulging disk, but they had Shumpert then. Now they don’t.
“Regardless of what happens, we gotta protect the home floor,” Chandler said. “A series really doesn’t start until someone loses on their home floor.”
Photo: US Presswire