Rasheed Wallace plays but lasts only 3:50 as Knicks fall to Bobcats
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Rasheed Wallace was back on the court for the first time this calendar year, but he lasted less than four minutes.
Just before the second half of Monday night's 106-95 loss to the Bobcats began, the Knicks announced that Wallace wouldn't return because of a sore left foot. Wallace didn't talk to the media after the game and limped as he walked down the hallway.
Wallace, who shot 1-for-3 and had two points in 3:50, hadn't played since Dec. 13 because of a foot injury. He had surgery in late February and made a push to return for the playoffs. It wasn't immediately clear what his status is going forward, but Mike Woodson had hoped to have him for the postseason, and the fact that he left the game and limped away aren't good signs. "I'm not saying it's a setback," Woodson said. "He was a little sore. He asked me to come out and I pulled him. We'll evaluate it a little more and see how he feels."
After wrapping up the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference on Sunday, the Knicks (53-28) had only nine available players. Only seven saw action.
Carmelo Anthony (sore shoulder, rest), J.R. Smith (rest), Tyson Chandler (bulging disc), Kenyon Martin (sprained ankle) and Amar'e Stoudemire (knee surgery) did not travel here. Raymond Felton and Marcus Camby were in uniform but didn't play.
Rookie Chris Copeland scored a career-high 32 points and Steve Novak added 17. James White had 15 and Iman Shumpert 14. Gerald Henderson scored 27 points and Kemba Walker had 23 points and 13 assists for Charlotte.
The Knicks close out the regular season Wednesday night against Atlanta at the Garden before opening their first-round series against the Celtics on Saturday. Woodson said he expects to have some regulars available to play the Hawks, but Jason Kidd said he probably will sit out.
Woodson said Chandler and Martin will be evaluated Tuesday to see if they can practice Thursday. Chandler has missed 15 of the last 19 games. Woodson had said he expected to have everyone available for Game 1 except Stoudemire. Now it might everyone but Stoudemire and Wallace.
The Knicks probably would have to win at least one playoff round for Stoudemire to have a shot at playing. "He's still going through rehab," Woodson said. "I'm not counting him out in terms of coming back. He will come back. We've got to extend and handle our business for him to get back in uniform -- and that's win. I don't know if it's going to be the first round or the second round. We've just got to gauge it as we go along. But I think he will come back."
Woodson said the plan was to play Wallace for only about 12 minutes Monday night. He hadn't played in four months and began running only a few days ago. The Knicks wanted to get him on the court and let him run a little to get ready for the playoffs.
But the rust was apparent and he didn't move well. Wallace hit his first shot, a turnaround jump shot from about 18 feet away. But he air-balled a three-pointer and his final shot was swatted by Charlotte's Bismack Biyombo.
Wallace was a rotation player early in the season, averaging 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 14.6 minutes. The Knicks were 16-4 with him in the lineup.
Although Camby was "available," he hasn't played since March 29, missing most of that time with left plantar fasciitis. But the Knicks were so confident that most of their big men will be able to play in the postseason that they waived Solomon Jones Monday. They plan to sign someone else and were looking at a swingman.
Notes & quotes: Novak said of the Boston Marathon attack: "I have a son. A lot of people have sons and daughters. It's just sick sometimes what goes on. That's the world that we live in. Those kinds of things happen. You can't live in fear. You have to continue to live your life, that doesn't change. The fact that it was a marathon, it was a sporting event, it hits close to home for all of us. You just hope it stops. Obviously you can't control it, but more than anything, I think it just breaks your heart to hear that kind of thing would go on in anybody's head, especially at a sporting event.''