The Knicks have a couple guys coming off injuries who they will need as much of as they can get in the regular season — Amar’e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith.
Those same Knicks are on the road for the next six games this preseason — against Boston in Rhode Island, Toronto in Toronto, Boston now in New Hampshire, then the Wizards and Raptors on their hone courts, followed by Milwaukee in Green Bay.
Put those first two paragraphs together and you get Knicks coach Mike Woodson making it official he will sit Stoudemire, Smith and also Jeremy Taylor for the first three preseason games at least, reports Adam Zagoria on twitter.
This is really not unexpected, it’s just now official.
Smith is recovering from knee surgery this summer (not done until after he signed his new contract). The hope is Smith could be back and ready to go opening night so that the clock starts on his five-game suspension for failing a league marijuana test (for a third time). A league doctor will determine if he was ready to go and if so the clock starts on the five games. If not, everything waits on the doc’s clearance.
Stoudemire will be on a minute limit and likely will still miss time this year. They will need him more in the playoffs in a deep East, so what is the point of preseason run for him?
Taylor also missing the games was expected. He had foot surgery in early September expected to keep him out two months. His roster spot is not guaranteed (only $100,000 of his deal is) so missing time is far less than ideal for him as well.