Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game Two

Knicks Smith, Martin, Shumpert all skip practice on off day Monday

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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.

DeMarcus Cousins pushes handsy Joakim Noah (video)

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Joakim Noah kept his hands on DeMarcus Cousins after getting called for a foul, and that – and/or the Kings heading toward their third straight loss – agitated Cousins into pushing the Knicks center.

Remember, Cousins and Noah have a history.

Aaron Gordon throws inbound pass off Marcus Morris’ back, scores (video)

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Aaron Gordon has backslid this season while playing out of his comfort zone at small forward, but there are still signs he’s progressing from great dunker toward great player – like this crafty inbounds pass off Marcus Morris‘ back.

Brandon Jennings sinks halfcourt shot after whistle (video)

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The NBA refuses to grant continuation when a player senses an intentional foul in the backcourt and launches a heave.

Fortunately, players continue to shoot anyway – which produced this fun Brandon Jennings non-basket.

Report: Kings forward Matt Barnes wanted for questioning after alleged New York nightclub fight

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Matt Barnes infamously fought then-Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating Barnes’ estranged wife, Gloria Govan. Barnes even bragged that violence is sometimes the answer.

His self-earned reputation won’t earn him the benefit of the doubt over an incident earlier today.

TMZ:

Sacramento Kings star Matt Barnes is wanted by NYPD for questioning after he allegedly choked a woman inside a nightclub early Monday morning — and TMZ Sports got video of him right after the incident.

Law enforcement sources tell us cops got a 911 call to Avenue Nightclub after midnight, reporting a man assaulting 2 women and another man. We’re told things got physical when Barnes allegedly choked one woman during an argument — and when 2 other people tried to intervene … he punched both of them.

In the video, Matt and a teammate — it appears to be DeMarcus Cousins — are talking about the fight. The teammate is clearly heard saying, “Matt hit the s*** out this ni***!”

Barnes was also arrested for domestic violence against Govan in 2011. But she said the incident was blown out of proportion, and the charges were dropped.

The Kings have already played at the Knicks and Nets, so Sacramento doesn’t return to New York this season.