This news is not ideal, but Knicks fans should be a lot more worried if Tuesday after shootaround we are reporting the same thing.
It was a light practice for the Knicks Monday as J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin and Iman Shumpert all skipped practice due to injury or illness, the team announced.
Expect all of them to play on Tuesday night in what is a virtual must-win Game 4 for the Knicks, who trail the Pacers 2-1 in the series.
J.R. Smith has been battling a virus for a couple days now. It clearly was one of the things slowing him on Saturday when he was 4-of-12 shooting in the Knicks loss. He is expected to play Tuesday, the question is now much energy he will have?
Martin also is trying to fight off a bug, but you can expect him to play through it Tuesday. But the question, as with Smith, is energy — he has to play well against the big front line of the Pacers.
Shumpert is having pain in his left knee and that is more troubling for a couple reasons. One, the Knicks need his defense and athleticism on the wing to continue to slow George Hill, Paul George and the Pacers offense (such as it is). Secondly, the left knee is the one that had the ACL tear, the one that had surgery from which he returned this season. Not to say the two are related, but it’s the same knee and that’s always a concern.