Tyson Chandler has a small non-displaced fracture in his right leg and will miss four to six weeks. It’s news that New York Knicks‘ fans were dreading, but most feared the worst after Chandler went down in the first quarter of Tuesday night’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Now, the Knicks are facing a harsh reality without their starting center over the next month and a half. The team will likely turn to Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin to try and fill the void, with Cole Aldrich and Andrea Bargnani also figuring to get more minutes in Chandler’s absence.
But of all those players, Stoudemire is the key. He was brought in to be a major player several years back and to this point, it just hasn’t worked out. His playing time has been limited thus far in 2013 because of yet another knee surgery, so now he’s not exactly in an ideal spot. Head coach Mike Woodson was hoping to use Stoudemire and Martin in limited roles to keep them fresh, but he doesn’t have that luxury any longer. Both players figure to see a significant increase in minutes without Chandler on the court.
Can the Knicks count on Stoudemire? History tells us no way. But there’s no doubt he’s the guy that needs to step his game up the most. Maybe between the four players mentioned, New York can get enough production to scrape by, but my guess is that it’s going to be a long six weeks.