- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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With center Tyson Chandler sidelined with a fractured right fibula, the Knicks need both power forwards to help keep the Spurs off the boards.
Gregg Popovich's club leads the NBA in defensive rebounding rate and will provide a challenge for New York.
On Friday against Charlotte in their first game without Chandler, the Knicks held their own on the glass. They were out-rebounded by the Bobcats 41-37 in a win over Patrick Ewing & Co. Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani each pulled down eight boards.
"It was the first time we had a game where we competed for 48 minutes, and the results were in our favor," Mike Woodson said Saturday.
That means Martin and Stoudemire will come off the bench.
Both players are on minutes limits in an effort to help them remain healthy over the course of the season.
Martin, who is feeling the effects of an ankle injury he suffered in April, played just 10 minutes on Friday. Stoudemire, who has had three knee procedures in the past year, played eight minutes against Charlotte.
"They didn't play many minutes, so I can use the minutes [Sunday]," Woodson said.
J.R. ready to pair with Andrea: J.R. Smith liked what he saw from Bargnani on Friday. Bargnani had his most complete game as a Knick against Charlotte. He scored 25 points, had eight rebounds and blocked five shots.
"I think he played unbelievable," Smith said. "We've got to keep expecting that from him."
Smith is excited to see what happens with he shares the floor with Bargnani. He envisions creating plenty of matchup problems when playing off each another.
"We really complement each other well because I'm going to attack bigs and they're going to have to make a decision whether they're going to pick up him or not," Smith said. "When the guards do switch on him, he's a huge mismatch."
One thing to keep an eye on against the Spurs: Smith says he hasn't gotten the explosiveness back in his left knee yet. But when he does, he's confident that he'll be "a helluva player."
It will be interesting to see who is knocked out of the rotation with Smith back. The guess here is that Tim Hardaway Jr. will play fewer minutes.
The first-round pick is averaging 18.4 minutes per game.
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