In two consecutive postseasons, the Knicks have faced the previous year's Eastern Conference champion in the first round of the playoffs. They've also lost Amare Stoudemire to injuries caused by unnecessary mishaps before the start of Game Three. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith wrote earlier that tomorrow's game will give New York a chance to re-earn the respect that was lost after two demoralizing losses to start the series, as well as provide the chance for certain players to prove their worth. For right now, here's the latest out of Manhattan:
- Al Ianazzonne of Newsday says that Jeremy Lin played a game of full court three-on-three after Wednesday's practice and showed some expected rust. Coach Mike Woodson said that any potential return of Lin during the series would hinge on how he feels after doing some running tomorrow and what the doctors say.
- Ian Begley of ESPN New York reports that Tyson Chandler is "close to 100%" heading into Thursday night's game at Madison Square Garden. Chandler had been recovering from flu-like symptoms over the last five days.
- In his first public appearance since leaving the American Airlines Arena on Monday night, Amare Stoudemire told reporters that there's a "great chance" he'll return for Game 4 on Sunday, immediately adding that he's "not totally sure yet" (according to Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com).
- Chandler is the first player in Knicks history to win the Defensive Player of the Year award. Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York writes about how former Knick Charles Oakley played an instrumental role in shaping Chandler's mindset defensively. The two had been teammates on the Bulls, when Chandler was still a young prospect and Oakley was nearing retirement.