Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rumors Rattle as Knicks Are Saddled with Injuries

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rumors Rattle as Knicks Are Saddled with Injuries

Article excerpt

Should it be Isiah Thomas, Jeff Hornacek, Derek Harper or Danny Manning?

The names fly through the New York rumor mill almost on a daily basis as the newspapers and talk shows try to figure out who the Knicks should go after in pursuit of an NBA championship.

About the only ones staying cool are the guys who have to make the decisions - team president Dave Checketts and general manager Ernie Grunfeld.

With three of the top seven players - Charles Smith, Doc Rivers and Hubert Davis - sidelined at least for the next few weeks because of injuries, this could be the worst time to make a deal.

"We have to go with what we have," coach Pat Riley said after Tuesday night's 97-95 defeat to New Jersey, the Knicks' first loss in seven home games. "The fact that we lost this game has nothing to do with our injury situation. Dave and Ernie are on the phone every day, but we're not going to be held hostage or do something stupid."

Smith, a starting forward, had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Dec. 7 and is out until February; Rivers, a starting guard, is out for the season after tearing a ligament in his left knee on Dec. 16; and Davis broke a bone in his right hand last Thursday and will be out for six weeks.

Rivers' loss made a full-time starter of third-year man Greg Anthony. Davis' absence opens playing time for veteran Rolando Blackman, a former All-Star who played in just eight of New York's first 23 games and averaged just eight minutes in those appearances.

In the loss to the Nets, Blackman scored a season-high 17 points in a season-high 24 minutes.

"We have every confidence in Ro," Grunfeld said. "He's been playing terrific in practice, and he's 100-percent physically. He just needs to get his timing down."

The Knicks' recent injuries have caused a glut on the injury list because Tim McCormick has been on it all season. …

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