Amar'e Stoudemire out for Game 3, doubtful for Game 4

Amar'e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks looks Amar'e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks looks on against the Boston Celtics. (April 24, 2011) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Amar'e Stoudemire essentially took himself out of the Knicks' playoff series after taking out his frustration on a glass-encased fire extinguisher Monday night in Miami.

A surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery repaired a small muscle in Stoudemire's left hand Tuesday. He is out for Game 3 Thursday night against the Heat and is doubtful for Game 4 Sunday.

Stoudemire will be reassessed after that. But with the Knicks down 0-2 in the best-of-seven series, they would need to win one of the two home games for Stoudemire to have a chance to play again. Game 5 would be a week from Wednesday in Miami.

Stoudemire suffered a large laceration on the side of his left hand after he punched a wall and shattered the glass holding the fire extinguisher on his way to the locker room following the Knicks' 104-94 loss Monday. Knicks and Heat doctors and local paramedics tended to Stoudemire, whose only comments have been on his Twitter page.

"I am so mad at myself right now," Stoudemire tweeted Monday night. "I want to apologize to the fans and my team, not proud of my actions, headed home for a new start."

"We all have done things out of anger that we regret. That makes us human. Bad timing on my part. Sorry guys. This too shall pass."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The Knicks return to practice Wednesday, trying to pick up the pieces and hoping to make it a series against Miami.

Beating the Heat would have been tough for the Knicks at full strength. But they lost rookie Iman Shumpert to a torn ACL and lateral meniscus in Game 1 and Stoudemire to poor judgment after Game 2.

"Nobody wants to lose," Carmelo Anthony said after scoring 30 points Monday. "My thing as one of the leaders of the team is you got to keep everybody positive, you got to keep everybody's heads up, you got to keep everybody confident. It's far from over . . . I believe that. We believe that."

It's been a difficult year for Stoudemire, whose older brother died in a February car crash. Stoudemire said playing basketball is his "release." But he lost his cool Monday and for the second straight year has compromised the Knicks' postseason chances.

Last year, Stoudemire hurt his back trying a difficult dunk during warm-ups before Game 2 in Boston. He played the last three games of that series but was very limited.

Stoudemire might have played his last game this season and possibly his Knicks career.

Moving Stoudemire won't be easy. His game is in decline, he's had back issues and has three years and $65 million remaining on a contract that's not insured if anything happens to his surgically repaired knees.

But the Knicks could see if there's interest this summer in Stoudemire, who averaged 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in the regular season. Orlando might trade Dwight Howard this offseason. The Knicks could offer a package of Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.

The Knicks' immediate concern, though, is trying to beat the Heat without Stoudemire.

"We're very confident we can win on our home court," Anthony said.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The Knicks went 14-5 without Stoudemire, including 9-4 late in the season when he sat with a bulging disc in his back and Anthony played power forward. But Shumpert played a key role in the team's success. One of those losses -- and the only Garden defeat in 12 home games under Mike Woodson -- was against the Heat.

Woodson might opt to move J.R. Smith into the starting backcourt with Baron Davis and play Chandler, Landry Fields and Anthony up front.

The other alternatives would be starting Steve Novak or Jared Jeffries. But Novak would put the Knicks at a major disadvantage defensively and Jeffries has been slowed by right knee tightness and hasn't moved well this series.

Starting Smith also weakens the Knicks' bench rotation, leaving Mike Bibby, Novak and Jeffries as backups with Toney Douglas and Josh Harrellson.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Jeremy Lin could return from left knee surgery in Game 4. But Miami might not be the best team for him to return against. Lin (1-for-11, eight turnovers) was overmatched against the Heat in February when he was healthy.

Chandler to be honored

Tyson Chandler will be named Defensive Player of the Year Wednesday, a source said Tuesday night.

Subscribe to Newsday’s sports newsletter for stories, photos and videos about your favorite New York teams plus national sports news and events.

You also may be interested in: