Tag: Celtics Knicks Game 4

Amare Stoudemire

Biillups out, Stoudemire may join him on Knicks bench Sunday


Injuries are not what led to the now inevitable end to the Knicks season at the hands of the Celtics in the first round. But it did speed the process along.

Point guard Chauncey Billups is almost certainly out for Game 4 and Amar’e Stoudemire may join him on the bench.

Stoudemire’s back tightened up on Saturday after he played 33 minutes — looking stiff when he moved — on Friday night and may not go Sunday, reports our man Howard Beck in the New York Times.

“It’s a strained back muscle,” he said. “So there’s a chance of straining it more, there’s a chance of overcompensating and having another injury. So there’s definitely some risks of playing with a strained back. And I’m not sure we want to take that risk right now when we have such a great future ahead of us.”

If he does not start, Shawne Williams will start. And you will not hear the name Carmelo Anthony without the words “double team” mentioned in the same sentence.

Billups told the New York Daily News he was “praying for a miracle” so he could play Sunday.

No Shaq in Game 4 for Celtics

Boston Celtics v Phoenix Suns

They clearly don’t need him against New York — Boston is up 3-0 in the series — but the plans to have Shaquille O’Neal back continues to be pushed back.

Doc Rivers has ruled Shaq out for Game 4 at Madison Square Garden Sunday, according to ESPN Boston.

“He’s not playing [Sunday],” said Rivers. “We didn’t do anything to see honestly. We didn’t practice, we just walked through. I’m not going to put him out on the floor.”

Not a big deal for Sunday. Boston blew out the Knicks in Game 3 at Madison Square Garden and now the series is merely a formality. Maybe it ends Sunday, maybe they go back to Boston for a Game 5 on Tuesday. But either way the writing is on the wall.

But the Celtics will need Shaq against the Heat in the next round and getting him some run before being thrown into that fire would have been a boost. The good news is rumors are it will be next weekend before that series starts, so Shaq will get plenty of time to get right.