Mike Woodson, Knicks pray for healthy New Year
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Mike Woodson isn't just hoping for good health in 2014, he's praying for it.
Woodson became the second Knick in the last eight days to use the word "pray" when talking about the health of the team. It says plenty about the state of the 9-21 Knicks -- physically, mentally and spiritually. Perhaps divine intervention is the only thing that can save them.
Carmelo Anthony, who missed the last three games with a sprained left ankle, went through "a little" contact in practice Tuesday. The Knicks hope he plays Thursday at San Antonio. But Woodson said "it's going to be impossible" for injured point guards Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni to play on the three-game Texas trip.
"We got to hope and pray that Raymond and Pablo will be back in a uniform soon because we need those two guys," Woodson said. "We do."
Felton said he "heard a pop" when he hurt his right groin on Dec. 23 in Orlando. Afterward, Felton told reporters, "Pray for us," referring to him and Anthony, who sprained his ankle that night. Neither has played since. Prigioni has missed six games with a broken big toe.
Prigioni would seem closer to returning than Felton. Woodson said they need to practice before they can play. With three games in four nights in Texas, the Knicks likely won't practice.
The Knicks also know Metta World Peace's troublesome left knee will keep him out until later in the month. World Peace revealed Tuesday his knee was drained Monday for the fourth time this season. The Knicks haven't disclosed any of the procedures.
World Peace will have platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) procedure on his knee on Monday and said he'll miss about two weeks. He said Amar'e Stoudemire was among the people he's spoken to about PRP.
Stoudemire had a knee procedure over the summer, but it was never revealed what was done. According to World Peace, it was PRP.
"I spoke to Amar'e about it," World Peace said. "He's still playing. He played a good game [Saturday] in Toronto. Everybody expected him not to have a good season. I think he's played well when he gets the minutes. Who knows? Maybe the PRP did work for him."
The Knicks added insurance up front Tuesday when they signed 6-10 Jeremy Tyler from their D-League team, the Erie BayHawks. To make room, they waived J.R. Smith's brother, Chris.
J.R. Smith seemed to be unhappy with the Knicks' decision to cut his brother -- who signed a guaranteed, one-year deal for $490,000. On Monday, J.R. posted an Instagram picture with the words, "You know the sad thing about betrayal? It never comes from an enemy."
J.R. Smith did not speak with reporters Tuesday. Woodson was asked if he needed to talk to Smith.
"I'm not even going to address that," Woodson said. "At this point, the bottom line is within our click we're all on the same page. We appreciate the work Chris put in for our ballclub. We wish him nothing but the best."Tyler, a former second-round pick of the Bobcats who has played for the Warriors and Hawks, averaged 18.0 points and 10.2 rebounds in six games for Erie. The Knicks gave him a partially guaranteed deal over the summer, but cut him in training camp after he broke his foot.
Although the Knicks need immediate point guard help, they want to see if Tyler, 22, can develop into a productive player. He's currently behind Tyson Chandler, Andrea Bargnani, Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin on the depth chart.
"If there was someone out there we probably would have done something at this point," Woodson said. "This is a kid we looked at early on in summer league and we made some commitments to him as well in terms of bringing him back to really get a look at him. How much will he play right now I don't know. He's got to get up to speed on what we're doing."