x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Another game, another injury just adds to Knicks play-off misery

Amar'e Stoudemire makes the Knicks injury situation even worse, and Rajon Rondo earns a one-game suspension for his temper.

Amare Stoudemire, right, exited Miami with his left hand and arm in a sling after New York's 104-94 loss to the Heat in Game 2.
Amare Stoudemire, right, exited Miami with his left hand and arm in a sling after New York's 104-94 loss to the Heat in Game 2.

They had just fallen in to a 2-0 hole in their play-off series, running their winless streak in an NBA post-season-tying 12 straight after a 104-94 loss to the Miami Heat.

And that is when it got worse for the New York Knicks.

Amare Stoudemire draped a towel over his left hand as he walked into the privacy of the New York Knicks' training room an hour after the game, needing a sanctuary from prying eyes.

The specifics of what Stoudemire did immediately after Game 2 were unclear.

Only this was certain: His hand was cut so severely that doctors and paramedics were summoned, drops of blood stained the carpet and a piece of glass in the door to a fire-extinguisher case needed to be replaced.

"I am so mad at myself right now, I want to apologise to the fans and my team, not proud of my actions, headed home for a new start," Stoudemire wrote on Twitter about two hours after the game.

Before the Knicks left the arena for the flight to New York, a team official said the extent of the injury is unknown. But in the locker room, Knicks center Tyson Chandler said he did not expect Stoudemire to be able to play when the series returns to Madison Square Garden for Game 3.

"I'm not going to comment until I see or hear what's going on with it," said Mike Woodson, the Knicks coach, who added that he had seen the cut but said "I'm not going to go there."

Not too many members of the Knicks were talking.

"I really don't know what's the situation with that," said Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks forward, who added he was "on the court" when whatever happened with Stoudemire occurred.

Stoudemire also declined to say anything when he walked out of the shower area in the locker room, one towel around his waist, another shielding his left hand.

"This is a series," said Chandler, when asked about Stoudemire's situation and what the Knicks need to do in Game 3. "We've got to go home win the next two and turn it into a best-of-three after that."

New York's last post-season win came April 29, 2001, and with Stoudemire a heavy doubt, and already missing Jeremy Lin and Iman Shumpert, chances of that streak being ended are unlikely.

Especially not when the Knicks were going to have trouble with all hands on deck against a loaded Heat squad that features Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Mission impossible?

As Tony Soprano would say in New Jersey, more like mission "fah-getta-bout-it".

"Split-second decision can obviously alter things, and you can't fault anybody," Chandler said on NBA.com. "Amare is a person that has high emotions at times, so one quick decision-making mistake and now you've got to deal with the repercussions."

The Boston Celtics were told deal without Rajon Rondo, who also lost control of his temper in Boston's 83-74 play-off opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Rondo, who in the closing minutes of Game 1 lost his temper with NBA official Marc Davis and bumped in to him, was suspended one game without pay by the league and missed Game 2 at Atlanta. Speaking during a play-off game in Indiana between the Pacers and Orlando Magic, David Stern, the NBA commissioner, said the league had no choice other than to suspend Rondo.

"I can't allow that," Stern said.

"If we don't protect our officials in this fast-paced game with very large players, we've lost a lot in my mind."

Rondo, the league's assist leader scored 20 points and dished out 11 assists before he was tossed, leaving Boston with a huge hole in their line-up.

This is Rondo's second suspension of the season, following a two-game ban in February for throwing a ball at an official. Boston lost both games while Rondo was suspended.

"Rondo is an emotional player," said Doc Rivers, the Celtics coach."I like his fire, but sometimes he burns you."

The Celtics are 8-5 overall in games he missed this season.

"This is a resilient basketball team," Rivers said. "That's what we've been all year. Sometimes, it takes this stuff, for whatever reason, to snap us into playing the right way. I don't know whether we're going to win or lose, but I can guarantee you we'll be ready to play."

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