By JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG
Seemingly in the middle of a free fall with the prospect of an 0-5 west coast trip staring at the Knicks with a matchup at the Utah Jazz this evening, the news only got worse on Monday afternoon at shootaround.
With Amar’e Stoudemire (right knee debridement) and Rasheed Wallace (fractured left fifth metatarsal) already out for an extended period of time, Carmelo Anthony (injured right knee) told the media he will sit for a third straight game. Additionally, Tyson Chandler (left knee contusion) is officially questionable for a third straight game.
Already ravaged by injury, Frank Isola of the Daily News reported this afternoon that reserve power forward Kurt Thomas could be done for the season with a stress fracture in his right foot. The oldest active player in the NBA, Thomas was expected to get an x-ray on the foot today and an MRI upon the team’s return to New York on Tuesday.
The assumed starting lineup thanks to all those injuries had been Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Chris Copeland, Marcus Camby and Kenyon Martin with J.R. Smith assuming his customary role as first up off the bench. However, after Camby turned in an ugly 0-for-6 effort during an 93-80 l0ss at the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, head coach Mike Woodson is expected to give 35-year-old Argentinian rookie point guard Pablo Prigioni his first start of the year instead.
The Knicks have lost all four games on this road trip by an average of 20 points. Their once-hefty lead in the Atlantic Division is down to just one game over the Nets and two and a half games over the Boston Celtics.
Any chance of catching the Miami Heat for the best record in the Eastern Conference is long gone the Knicks entering the evening, one game behind in the Indiana Pacers for second and a whopping 12.5 games out of first.
The reigning NBA champions are in the middle of a 22-game winning streak with a trip to TD Garden on tap for this evening.
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