The Knicks actually DO have a chance to win a game against the Magic if Nelson is officially sidelined by Van Gundy.
Magic's J.J. Redick, Quentin Richardson won't play against Knicks
March 27, 2011|By Zach McCann, Orlando Sentinel
Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel
The Orlando Magic were down to nine players at practice Sunday, and that's all they may have available against the New York Knicks on Monday night.
Jameer Nelson, who sprained his knee but suffered no structural damage when Jordan Farmar fell into his leg Friday night, didn't practice but will make the trip and make a decision whether to play or not on Monday afternoon.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said it's "doubtful" Nelson will play against the Knicks, but the possibility is open. "I'm going to be smart about it," Nelson said.
Quentin Richardson (back spasms) and J.J. Redick (lower abdominal strain) also missed Sunday's practice and they'll both miss the Knicks game.
Richardson said he's feeling better and seemed optimistic he could return on Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks.
Redick's situation, however, is hazier. He was in Vancouver on Sunday visiting a specialist and he will remain in Orlando to rehab the injury during the team's two-game road trip.
After suffering a setback to his abdomen injury late last week, there is no official timetable for his return.
Arenas likely to start at PG
If Nelson can't play, Gilbert Arenas will most likely receive his first start since being traded to Orlando.
Van Gundy said he hasn't decided if Arenas or Chris Duhon will start, but Arenas practiced with the first team on Sunday and has been above Duhon on the depth chart all season.
"If you're a starter you get to be more aggressive, while coming off the bench you're basically controlling the tempo," Arenas said. "It doesn't matter to me. You still have to play the game the way you play it."
Van Gundy said the reason he would think about starting Duhon is because, "We've got our better offensive players all on the floor at the beginning. We've gotta have some balance off the bench, and Gil's probably the best off player we'd have off the bench."
* Dwight Howard, who gets about two haircuts per week, had the sides of his face shaved at the barber on Sunday. But the rest of his facial hair hasn't been touched since the players vowed to not shave their beards till the end of their playoff run last week. Everyone else – it appeared – has continued with the team's "Fear the Beard" campaign.
* The Knicks have lost six games in a row and nine of their last ten, causing coach Mike D'Antoni to come under fire from the local media. Van Gundy, however, praised D'Antoni as a coach. "We all will face a lot of criticism at times," he said. "That's the way it goes. The rest of us all know that Mike's a heck of a coach. In the profession, we all know how good Mike is."