Knicks forward/center Andrea Bargnani is expected to play on Wednesday night against the Clippers, in what would be his first game since he injured himself in a much-parodied (mostly by me– see the bottom of this article for another example) dunk attempt on January 22nd, 2014. Bargnani is not expected to start, but he should get some minutes, especially with the Knicks so short-handed right now. Some think Bargnani could be a good fit in the triangle, but thanks to his big contract, his lack of production thus far, and the price we paid to get him, he has drawn nothing but ire from Knicks fans up to this point in his New York tenure.
The Knicks are about to get some much-needed reinforcements. José Calderón, who has missed the first 13 games of the season with a calf strain, is expected to return for tonight’s game against the 76ers. The Knicks traded their best defensive player, Tyson Chandler, for Calderón in the offseason, and as you would expect, the move has done more harm than good with the 33 year-old Spaniard sitting on the bench in street clothes. Calderón is a poor defender, but a strong offensive player and a fantastic shooter, so he should give the Knicks a boost as they continue to grapple with the Triangle Offense.
However, Andrea Bargnani, also expected to return tonight from his hamstring injury, suffered a calf strain of his own in practice today, and will not return tonight (or, one would assume, for at least a couple weeks, given the length of Calderón’s absence).
Last night, Andrea Bargnani took off from a few steps inside the free throw line and attempted to posterize two 76ers at once. It wasn’t pretty.
Today, the Knicks announced that an MRI revealed a torn left elbow ligament for Bargnani, and the team says that he is out indefinitely. There are many people who believe that the Knicks are better when Bargnani is on the bench, so this might not be all that bad for New York. However, this injury leaves the Knicks incredibly thin in a frontcourt that has already been missing Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin. Cole Aldrich never plays, so unless the Knicks release him for a new big man or give him some minutes, Jeremy Tyler is the only true big man the Knicks have right now, aside from Tyson Chandler.
This could be a blessing in disguise, or it could add to the team’s struggles.