The chances of the Boston Celtics completing their first playoff sweep saw a bit of a boost Saturday afternoon with the news that A’mare Stoudemire is now considered doubtful to suit up for Game 4 Sunday afternoon due to a painful back injury: (Howard Beck of New York Times)
“You can always further injure an injury,” Stoudemire said after receiving treatment while his teammates practiced. “It’s a strained back muscle. 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.”
Stoudemire hurt himself in warm-ups Tuesday night, when he slapped the backboard with his left hand while dunking with his right. It is a move Stoudemire has made many times, but this time he felt a pull.
Doctors said this type of injury usually takes three to four weeks to heal.
“It has to be better,” to play on Sunday, Stoudemire said. “I knew last night I wasn’t 100 percent. It wasn’t 50 percent last night. And I was pretty much in pain the whole game, from start to finish.”
If Stoudemire cannot play, Shawne Williams will probably start in his place, leaving the Knicks with two bench players in the lineup. Toney Douglas has started the last two games in place of Chauncey Billups (knee), who also will not be back Sunday.
Douglas, who has struggled as the point guard, is also dealing with a sore right shoulder. Ronny Turiaf, the Knicks’ starting center, is playing with sore knees.
Give credit to A’mare for gutting it out in Game 3 but the quotes above sounds like those of a defeated man. And with a bunch of other nagging excuses injuries popping up, the Celtics will be well served to go in tomorrow with a killer instinct and give themselves a full week of preparation needed for them to dispatch the Miami Heat.