When New York Knicks point guard Baron Davis collapsed to the court in the third quarter during Sunday’s win over the Miami Heat nobody could have expected his injury to be this bad. Just how bad is it? Well, Davis, 33, will be lucky to ever play basketball again. Davis underwent an MRI and it was discovered he has a partial tear of his patella tendon and complete tears of his ACL and MCL. Davis will undergo surgery sometime next week when the swelling goes down but the early timetable for his return is 12 months which means he will miss all of next season.
Earlier this season Davis was waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers under the amnesty clause which allowed teams to shed the contract of one player without incurring any cap penalties. The Knicks were able to sign Davis to the veteran minimum in December shortly after the NBA lockout ended. Davis was, at the time, rehabbing from a herniated disc which postponed his Knicks debut until February. Davis became the Knicks starting point guard after Jeremy Lin went down with a torn meniscus on March 24th which required surgery.
Davis’ injury was overshadowed a bit by the fact that the Knicks ended their NBA-record 13-game playoff losing streak with an 89-87 victory over the Heat in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden. However, the impact of losing Davis will surely reverberate on the court for the Knicks as they try to climb back into this series.
As of right now, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson isn’t sure when Jeremy Lin will be able to return to the Knicks. He is scrimmaging in 3-on-3 drills but there is no way he would be able to step in for Davis right away in Game 5. The Knicks instead will have to count on Mike Bibby and Toney Douglas to lead the offense. Bibby is experienced but he is certainly not the player he was five or six years ago when he was among the NBA’s better pure point guards.
This season, Davis averaged 4.7 assists, 6.1 points, and 1.2 steals per game in 29 games, mostly as the backup point guard. In the playoffs, Davis averaged 3.3 assists and 7.8 points per game. Davis is 33 now and won’t be able to play basketball for at least another year. The likelihood that an NBA team signs a 35 year-old with a history of back and knee problems is miniscule so Davis might very well have played his last game.