Jeremy Lin who? While dome may have thought it was crazy for the New York Knicks to allow Lin leave for the Houston Rockets for nothing it seems to have worked out in their favor. After pulling off a sign and trade with the Portland Trail Blazers the Knicks not only upgraded their point guard position by bringing Raymond Felton back to Madison Square Garden but also brought back fan favorite Kurt Thomas who has filled in some major minutes for Mike Woodson. For the record, Felton has put up better numbers than Lin this season so lets put that argument to rest. That being said, the man running the Knicks offense has had his ups and downs this season but has played through them. Now he has another obstacle, an injured left hand while playing the Phoenix Suns Sunday that required an MRI to diagnose the problem.
Raymond Felton was drafted fifth overall in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Bobcats. While he probably hasn't lived up to his high draft selection Felton has been an average to above average point guard in the NBA. He played for the Bobcats from 2005-10, the New York Knicks from 2010-11, the Denver Nuggets in 2011, the Portland Trail Blazers from 2011-12 and returned to the Knicks in 2012.
He returned to the Knicks in shape and with a chip on his shoulder. He's shown a high basketball IQ, great court vision and a team-first mentality. He plays defense like a bulldog and has been both a scoring option for the Knicks as well as someone with chemistry with his teammates. He's shown a killer cross over and a penchant for splitting double teams. To say he's been a pleasant addition to this years Knicks team would be an understatement. However, now his health is in question.
Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com reports that although Felton hopes to play he may have to sit next game leaving the Knicks extremely thin at point guard.
"It's swollen right now," Felton said. "It's a lot of pain, but we'll see what happens."
Felton said, if it were up to him, he'd play in the Knicks' next game on Wednesday against the Charlotte Bobcats. Felton said he could play with a bandage on his hand, if necessary.
If Felton is forced to sit, the Knicks could have just one healthy point guard available against Charlotte.
Veteran guard Jason Kidd has missed the Knicks' past four games and is listed as day to day due to lower back spasms.
Kidd, 39, hopes to return to the team sometime during their three-game road trip.
With Felton injured, Pablo Prigioni is the Knicks' lone healthy point guard.
Felton hurt his hand while trying to do one of his favorite things on the court, splitting a double team. It happened in the fourth quarter but Felton was still able to record a team-high seven assists along with 23 points on 10-for-17 shooting.
Felton's thumb was visibly swollen after the game. He was sent for an MRI to determine the extent of the injury and is listed as day-to-day. His injury is listed as a bone bruise and contusion.
Felton has been a huge piece to the Knicks puzzle this season and a large contributor to their 12-4 start. Without Jason Kidd the Knicks are 3-1, thanks in large part to Felton. Felton is averaging 14.6 points and 6.7 assists per game so far this season.
If Felton is forced to sit against the Charlotte Bobcats, and the Knicks continue to be without Kidd, look for Pablo Prigioni to play major minutes at point guard. J.R. Smith will also have the ball in his hands for increased minutes and James White will likely get the opportunity to fill in minutes as a combo guard off the bench.
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