The New York Knicks played their first game since Kenyon Martin and Amar’e Stoudemire suffered ankle injuries in a 117-89 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.
The results were not good.
The Knicks lost by 14 to the Los Angeles Clippers, who were playing without their best player Chris Paul. Blake Griffin scored 32 points and pulled down 7 rebounds in the win.
Stoudemire and Martin are expected to miss two weeks. Both players absences will negatively affect the team offensively and defensively.
Martin provided a defensive anchor in the second unit behind Tyson Chandler. With Martin out the Knicks will have to rely on Rookie Jeremy Tyler and Cole Aldrich as backups.
Aldrich has been ineffective in limited minutes and Tyler had 6 points and 2 rebounds on Friday, but he is an unproven commodity.
Stoudemire’s loss will be felt on the offensive end. In Friday’s game against the Clippers the Knicks shot 35 percent from the field and 7-for-23 from three point range.
Stoudemire is the Knicks only other post scorer besides Carmelo Anthony, who was 4-for-23 from the field in Friday’s loss. Without Stoudemire, the Knicks will likely increase the amount of jumpers they take.
The Knicks are shooting 43.5 percent as a team. If you subtract Stoudemire’s field goals that number drops to 34.5 percent.
In order to be competitive, the Knicks will need their guards to step up. The Knicks have gotten poor guard play the entire season. Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, and J.R. Smith are all suffering career lows in field goal percentage. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Toure Murry were good initially, but both have struggled in recent games.
Smith was 9-for-18 from the field in Friday’s game scoring 24 points, but Shumpert (0), Felton (5), Murry (3), and Hardaway Jr. (6) combined for 14 points.
Carmelo Anthony will have to play extremely well to replace the loss of Stoudemire, but if he does not get any help it will not do the Knicks much good.