The Knicks lost Jason Kidd before the game and Ronnie Brewer during it. Back spasms prevented Kidd from playing in the Knicks' 96-89 overtime loss to the Nets last night. Kidd didn't even come to the game.
Brewer dislocated his left ring finger trying to slap the ball away from Brook Lopez late in regulation. X-rays on Brewer's hand were negative.
More should be known today about the status of Kidd and Brewer. The Knicks head to Milwaukee, where they play the Bucks tomorrow.
The Knicks are already thin in the backcourt and on the wing because Iman Shumpert is rehabbing from left knee surgery and the team certainly missed Kidd last night. Point guard Raymond Felton, forced to play 42 minutes, shot 3-for-19 with five turnovers and five assists, while counterpart Deron Williams had 16 points and 14 assists.
Kidd has had back issues in the past. It becomes more alarming because of his age. Kidd, 39, is the NBA's third-oldest player.
Kidd's leadership, passing, intelligence and three-point shooting were big reasons the Knicks took a 9-3 record into last night's game.
Minus Kidd, who started the first 12 games at shooting guard, coach Mike Woodson played a bigger lineup. He started Kurt Thomas at power forward, Anthony played his natural small-forward position and Brewer slid back to shooting guard.
In his pregame briefing with reporters, Woodson said he wasn't sure if everyone was available, but wouldn't reveal who. When asked specifically about Kidd, Woodson said, "Don't know yet."
Woodson may have been hoping to keep it from the Nets. But members of their organization already knew Kidd, who played 6 years with the Nets, wasn't at the game.
Brewer also has been pivotal to the Knicks' success with his defense and ability to get open by moving without the ball.
When the Knicks' locker room opened pregame and a large group of media walked in, Shumpert said, "Did Jeremy Lin sign back?" . . . This was the first time the Knicks were the visitors in New York against the Nets since Feb. 20, 1977.