INDIANAPOLIS (CBSNewYork/AP) — The left knee of Knicks guard Iman Shumpert doesn’t appear to be getting any better and it could keep him out of Tuesday night’s game at Indiana.
Coach Mike Woodson told reporters that the team was bringing in a doctor to examine Shumpert’s sore knee, the same one that required surgery last May after he tore a ligament during the playoffs. Shumpert appeared to get hurt on an awkward, twisting fall during an 82-71 Game 3 loss that left the Knicks in a 2-1 deficit in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals.
Since then, Woodson said, the knee has been swollen.
“He took a hard spill, so sure there’s concern,” Woodson said before the team’s morning shootaround. “I’m not a doctor. I just saw the leg went out from underneath him.”
Asked if Shumpert would be seen by a doctor when the team returned to New York following Game 4, presumably as early as Wednesday morning, Woodson said an orthopedic doctors was en route to Indy.
Shumpert did not practice Monday or Tuesday and did not participate in the team’s morning shootaround. Woodson said he had not decided who would replace Shumpert, one of the team’s best defenders, in the lineup.
It’s not all bad news for the Knicks.
Forward Kenyon Martin and guard J.R. Smith, who both missed practices Monday and Tuesday because of illnesses, were at the shootaround and are likely to play Tuesday night. Martin even told reporters he would “definitely” play.
“I feel better than I did yesterday, but if the game were yesterday, I would have played,” Martin said. “It’s the playoffs now, no excuses because it’s a must-win just like every game is a must-win.”
When asked if he got the bug from Smith, Martin told reporters that he doesn’t sleep in the same bed as Smith.
Smith did not speak with reporters.
Health isn’t the only big question looming over the Knicks as they head into a game that could swing the series.
On Sunday, center Tyson Chandler told reporters the Knicks needed to take a more selfless approach on offense. In New York, that was perceived to be a direct shot at Carmelo Anthony, the NBA scoring champ. Anthony responded Monday by saying the two would have a discussion outside the public eye.
Neither Chandler nor Anthony spoke Tuesday morning as other teammates tried to explain there was no division in the locker room.
“We’re all a unified group and that goes for any situation — a company, military strategies, basketball strategies,” Amare Stoudemire said. “We’ve got to be a tight group.”
Stoudemire said his surgically-repaired knee felt good after making his first appearance in a game since March 7 and that he wouldn’t play more than 15 minutes Tuesday night.
But Woodson wanted no part of the brewing controversy over team unity.
“I’m not going to entertain that guys,” he said. “We’ve got Game 4 to play.”
Tip off for Tuesday night’s game is at 7:00 p.m.
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