The New York Knicks need Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert more than ever right now.
In their last seven games, the Knicks have a 3-4 record and have had to start the 40-year old Kurt Thomas at power forward in the four games Carmelo Anthony has missed during that stretch.
Without Anthony and Raymond Felton, who is out 4-6 weeks with a broken pinkie, the Knicks lack a second scoring threat to complement J.R. Smith on the court.
Tyson Chandler is averaging 12.9 points and 10.2 rebounds this season, but most of his offense has come from the pick-and-roll offense with Felton. With Jason Kidd replacing Felton as the starting point guard, teams can afford to double-team Chandler because no team is going to be afraid of James White.
At small forward, the Knicks are starting Ronnie Brewer for defensive purposes, but the Sacramento Kings were able to score 71 points on the Knicks in the first half on Friday night.
There could be a better time for reinforcements to come in and give this team a spark, but the question is what roles will the Knicks give Stoudemire and Shumpert.
Sunday will mark the first time Stoudemire practices with the Knicks since his October 31 knee debridement. Stoudemire participated in two practices with the Knicks’ D league team, the Erie BayHawks last week, but he felt sore after both practices. Once he can get through practice without soreness, he’ll be able to return.
Shumpert, who is recovering from offseason ACL surgery, will participate in non-contract drills on Sunday. The following step will be to get into scrimmages and be cleared for contact. The hope is that he’ll return sometime in January.