It's fine with Kenyon Martin that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade sat out
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MIAMI -- Kenyon Martin wasn't necessarily buying that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were too hurt to play Tuesday night.
The Heat's two stars sat for the second straight game with hamstring and ankle injuries. James and Wade also missed Sunday's game in San Antonio.
"Did they fine them the other day, by the way?" Martin asked.
When he was told no, Martin said, "Oh boy. Oh boy. That's the NBA."
The Spurs were fined $250,000 this season after sending Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and North Babylon's Danny Green to San Antonio instead of playing them in a nationally televised game in Miami. None of them were injured though. It came at the end of a long road trip and Popovich wanted to rest them.
Although the Heat said each player has injuries, the speculation is Miami is resting them since the Heat has clinched the East's top seed.
"That's their decision," Martin said. "If they don't want to play their guys then we'll come out, whoever is playing, we're coming out to get this 'W.' That's the bottom line."
Tyson Chandler returned against the Heat after missing the last 10 games, nine with a bulging disc in his neck. Chandler said he felt stiff during his 24 minutes and isn't sure whether he will play in Atlanta Wednesday night.
"I haven't discussed anything with the trainers," Chandler said. "I'll see what they say."
With Chandler back, Martin came off the bench, which was Mike Woodson's plan all along.
"You don't lose your starting job because of injuries," Woodson said.
Martin, a natural power forward, started at center the last eight games and played a pivotal role in the Knicks' win streak. But he expected this move.
"It's Tyson's job," Martin said. "In sports, you're not supposed to lose your job because of injury."
The Knicks could start a frontcourt of Chandler, Martin, and Carmelo Anthony. But Woodson likes the mismatches Anthony causes at power forward and the spacing that's created by starting him with three guards -- Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni and Iman Shumpert and a big man. Woodson said he could change up against bigger teams.
"If I get into a playoff series with the Pacers and with a big front line I feel good about starting K-Mart and Tyson together," Woodson said.
Shumpert's happy return
Sitting close to the spot he tore his left ACL last April, Shumpert admitted being back in the American Airlines Arena wasn't easy.
"It's definitely a big deal to me, finally come full circle and play them again," he said. "I feel like I have to get this game out of the way. I kind of dreaded coming back to play here.
"As long we win and I don't get hurt I'll be the happiest man alive."
A happy Shumpert had nine points in the Knicks' win.