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Opening Tip: Will injuries impact Knicks?

The Knicks were the oldest team in the NBA last season.

So it wasn't all that surprising that they were plagued by injuries all year.

Depending on who they keep heading into the regular season, the Knicks figure to be a significantly younger team this year.

But, so far, that hasn't stopped the injury bug from biting.

New York's most significant injuries are ailments that we've known about for weeks: J.R. Smith is battling back from left knee surgery; Amar'e Stoudemire is trying to strengthen his chronically-injured knees and Jeremy Tyler is rehabbing from offseason surgery on his foot.

But there are other smaller, nagging injuries that have affected the Knicks.

Iman Shumpert hurt his shoulder and suffered a sprained elbow in the preseason, though he returned to the court on Wednesday night. Raymond Felton suffered a hamstring injury; he's expected to play Friday against Charlotte. More troubling, veteran Kenyon Martin is still dealing with a lingering ankle injury that he first suffered in early April. Not to mention, Carmelo Anthony is playing with tears in his left shoulder (rotator cuff and labrum). He says his shoulder is 100 percent healthy, but it will be monitored all year.

Stoudemire and Martin have already been ruled out of playing both games of back-to-backs and won't play every game when the Knicks play tough stretches, such as four games in five nights.

Last season, Stoudemire played just 29 regular season games due to knee issues. Anthony missed time with a knee injury and other minor ailments.

Shumpert sat out for the first 2 1/2 months while rehabbing from offseason ACL surgery. Rasheed Wallace missed most of the year with a foot injury; Kurt Thomas was unavailable in the playoffs with a foot injury and Marcus Camby's availability was compromised due to foot and calf ailments. Lastly, Tyson Chandler missed 16 of the final 20 regular season games with a neck injury and illness.

All of the injuries didn't have a great impact in the regular season, but they caught up with the Knicks in their second-round series against Indiana. They lacked the size and depth to battle Indiana on the boards as Chandler wasn't himself.

Health, of course, will be of the utmost importance this season if the Knicks want to compete in the beefed-up Eastern Conference.

Which brings us to our question: Do you think injuries will impact the Knicks this season as they did last year or do you believe they will stay relatively healthy?

UP NOW: Chris Smith's relationship with his brother, J.R. Smith, will factor into the Knicks' decision to cut him or keep him on the roster, according to reports. The Knicks hierarchy is schedule to meet on Thursday to start making cuts. They have to get the roster down to 15 by October 28 at 5 p.m.

Also, Woodson used the Andrea Bargnani/Carmelo Anthony pairing at power forward and center, respectively, on Wednesday. And the results on defense weren't very good.

Lastly, Steve Kerr and other analysts have predicted that the Knicks will finish fifth in the East. We want to know if you agree.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks will return from the road and are expected to practice on Thursday to get ready for Friday's preseason finale against the Charlotte Bobcats. This will be their first game in the newly-renovated Garden.

QUESTION: Do you think injuries will impact the Knicks this season as they did last year or do you believe they will stay relatively healthy?

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